Saturday, January 12, 2013

Two for Texas

Hey, make no mistake about it, I love living in the Lone Star State. I've lived here all my life and have no intentions of going anyplace else. But, let's be brutally honest, Texas has more than its fair share of stupid ideas.

The latest comes from our esteemed Lt. Governor David Dewhurst. As best as I can tell, Mr. Dewhurst was dead serious when he proposed that the state fund specialized weapons training for teachers and administrators selected to carry guns on campus. Under his proposal districts could decide whether they wanted to designate one teacher and one administrator on each campus to pack heat. The state would then provide the funds to train them in how to use a gun correctly and how to handle a situation in which a gunman starts firing inside a school.

Just let that sink in for a minute.

Apparently Mr. Dewhurst is still licking his wounds from getting beaten by that tea-baggin' wingnut Ted Cruz who two-stepped into the U.S. Senate promising to introduce legislation to repeal Obamacare. Somewhere along the line he felt the need to dial up the wingnut tendencies to appease the far right.

I know the NRA seems to think the solution to gun violence is to put more guns out on the street. And if that notion seems absurd - the notion of more guns on school campuses seems downright obscene.

And, just to prove that Mr. Dewhurst's latest brainstorm isn't a fluke - over in Pearland (a suburb of Houston), an 11-year-old was arrested for threatening to bring a gun to school. He wasn't sent to the office and placed in an in-school suspension program. He wasn't placed in an alternative school. He was arrested.

Someone please enlighten me as to what good it does to place handcuffs on a 5th grader and cart him off to the police station. As a rule, kids that age don't appreciate the consequences of their actions. They live in a bubble and have a hard time understanding that the things they do may affect others.

Now, instead of learning math and science and grammar, this young boy is learning all about the criminal (in)justice system. What an education he will receive. Instead of reaching out and trying to help this young boy, the folks entrusted to educate him threw up their hands and passed him off to law enforcement.

Sure, they were probably a bit skittish after what happened last month in Connecticut. I get that. But the kid is only eleven.

Farming out discipline problems to the courts is a losing proposition but it sure is a hell of a lot easier than dealing with the problem yourself. The administrators responsible for this incident should be ashamed of themselves and might want to take a long hard look at themselves in the mirror. There is no excuse for putting an 11-year-old in handcuffs.

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