‘Zero-Tolerance’ Insanity Spares No One

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A few weeks ago, twelve-year-old Isaiah Elliott was suspended from Grand Mountain, an elementary school in Colorado Springs. During an online art class, the teacher saw the boy — who suffers from attention-deficit disorder — flashing a neon green, black, and orange toy gun with the “Zombie Hunter” printed on the side, across the screen. Isaiah never brought the gun into the school, nor did he threaten anyone — other than perhaps the undead. A normal person would have ignored the neon toy, or, at most, called the parents to verify that it was ok.

In the case, the teacher told school principal who immediately suspended the kid, and then sent the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office to conduct a welfare check on the boy without notifying the parents first.

“It was really frightening and upsetting for me as a parent, especially as the parent of an African-American young man, especially given what’s going on in our country right now,” Isaiah’s dad Fox told a local television station.

The Root says:

Oh, how America loves to criminalize Black children.

That’s it. That’s the lede.

It’s not the lede. What’s going on in our country right now is that police shootings have significantly declined over the years. And the scaremongering over guns and the resulting “zero tolerance” policies that punish kids for Nerf toys and such has been a trend for many years. Having lived in Colorado and witnessing the increasing nannystic inclination of teachers and administrators, I’m not surprised that this transpired in the state, even though gun ownership in El Paso County and nearby Douglas County is probably sky-high. But it’s the kind of thing that ensnares seven-year-olds in Florida and Virginia, nine-year-olds in Grand Junction and Pittsburgh, fourth graders in New York (for a two-inch gun), and kindergartners in Maryland. The list is long, and it spares no race or creed.

David Harsanyi is a senior writer for National Review and the author of First Freedom: A Ride through America’s Enduring History with the Gun