Common Sense Absent in Dennis Township, NJ

October 21, 2007 · Print This Article · Email This Post

Kyle Walker's Startled Mother, Shirley McDevitt

Kyle Walker, 7, drew a picture of a stick figure shooting a watergun in his second-grade class at Dennis Township Primary School in Cape May County, New Jersey last week. He carefully wrote the word “me” above the shooter and another child’s name over the other figure in the drawing, and promptly earned a one-day vacation suspension from school. His mother, Shirley McDevitt, was told Kyle’s artwork violated the school’s zero-tolerance gun policy. “What I’m told is, it’s the time we live in,” she said, when interviewed by The Press of Atlantic City. “Is it the time we live in when a little boy can’t draw a picture?” The prolific young artist also drew pictures of King Tut, a skateboarder, a tree, a ghost and a Cyclops.

Hangman Game

Give us a break. A stick figure drawing, which we all made as children, violates a gun policy? We think the local academicians have a more vivid imagination than Kyle has. And let’s not forget that ominous-sounding game of “Hangman”? Perhaps it deserves further investigation. As it turns out, Kyle gave his stick figure drawing to another child on the school bus; that child’s parents then complained to the school. No adult in authority had the guts to comment on Kyle’s vacation suspension. School officials had nothing to say, and a message left for Dennis Township Superintendent George Papp wasn’t returned. Maybe it’s something in the water they drink: in March 2000, four northern New Jersery boys in kindergarten each received a three-day suspension…for pointing their fingers like guns while playing cops and robbers.


Get Out of Jail Free

Besides, what child wouldn’t revel in the idea of a day off from school? Isn’t this kind of like giving Kyle a “Get Out of Jail Free” card? Any self-respecting adult would know that a real punishment would be more time at school.


Read another fine example of misguided political correctness gone awry here.

Photo credits: Dale Gerhard / Press of Atlantic City

Copyright ©2007


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