1. Attention: We have put together a thread with tips and a tutorial video to help with using the new software. Please take a moment to check out the thread here: Trapshooters.com Tutorial & Help Video.
    Dismiss Notice

Iowa school district suspends first-grader

Discussion in 'Off Topic Threads' started by Joe Potosky, Feb 4, 2010.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. Joe Potosky

    Joe Potosky Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 1998
    Messages:
    5,486
    Iowa school district suspends first-grade home-schooler

    By Staci Hupp, The Des Moines Register

    DES MOINES — First-grader Matthias Beattie this week joined the hundreds of U.S. children suspended each year under post-Columbine "zero tolerance" policies when he took a shotgun shell to his school.

    The difference is that Matthias is home-schooled.

    The 6-year-old Carlisle boy takes a class once a week through a Des Moines school district program that pairs public school teachers with home-schooled children.

    The boy's parents say his one-week suspension lacks common sense.

    "Matthias is a little kid from the farm, and he did not have intent to do any harm," his mother, Charlene Beattie, said.

    School officials also never made clear that the policy applies to home-schooled children, she said.

    Matthias isn't a public school student in the eyes of state law, and his class meets at a church. But district officials say Matthias and other home-schooled students are bound by discipline policies.

    "Even though you spend 95% of your week home schooling, you are enrolled in the public schools," Leslie Dahm, the district's home-schooling coordinator, said in an e-mail to Matthias' parents this week.

    Dahm called live ammunition a "serious threat" for which the school district could be sued.

    Leigh McGivern, a district spokeswoman, said Wednesday she wasn't familiar with the incident. But she said school policies are drawn up primarily to protect students.

    "Whether it's an empty shell or a loaded shell, it's considered part of a weapon and unsafe," McGivern said. "We have students who don't know the difference. The policy is, let's be unequivocal about it. Don't bring anything like that to school. And that way they don't have to use judgment as a child."

    Dan Beattie and his son found the shotgun shell as they cleared out a wall of their Carlisle farmhouse, which they are renovating.

    Beattie, a church pastor, said he used the encounter to teach Matthias about guns and safety.

    He then let Matthias add the shotgun shell to his collection of raccoon bones and other farm finds.

    "He thought it was cool," Dan Beattie said.

    The Beatties said they didn't know the shotgun shell was in Matthias' pants pocket when they dropped him off last week at his public school class.

    "It was an oversight on my part," Dan Beattie said.

    The shell fell out of Matthias' pocket as he jumped around in the gymnasium, his mother said.

    Odds that a dropped shotgun shell would explode are "one in a million," one weapons expert says.

    John Underwood, an agent in the Des Moines office of the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, said the odds escalate when the shotgun shell primer detonates — usually from being slammed against an object.

    "The danger is remote, but it's there," Underwood said.

    Dahm's e-mail shows school administrators considered more severe penalties before they settled on a one-week suspension for Matthias Beattie.

    The punishment stemmed from the Beatties' willingness to shoulder part of the blame, according to the e-mail.

    Dahm acknowledged in the e-mail that student discipline policies aren't distributed to families regularly because of printing costs. The e-mail said parents are expected to read the policy online. Dahm could not be reached for comment for this article.

    Charlene Beattie said the experience will be one of her son's biggest lessons.

    "I told him, 'Sometimes there are rules that are made that we are not aware of,' " she said. "We still have to abide by them."

    The incident marks the second time in four months that the Des Moines district's no-weapons policy has triggered controversy.

    In October, Brody Middle School officials suspended a sixth-grader who took empty shotgun shells to school to show a teacher.

    It also exemplifies a philosophical collision between home-school parents and public school policy.

    "Most of us in the home-school community know how to talk about things like that, and we move on," said Dan Beattie, Matthias' father.

    "The way our society has become, we're so scared of everything that could possibly go wrong and so we have such blind allegiance to policy that we obliterate common sense," he said.
     
  2. timb99

    timb99 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 1998
    Messages:
    7,331
    Location:
    Shawnee, Kansas, USA
    "The way our society has become, we're so scared of everything that could possibly go wrong and so we have such blind allegiance to policy that we obliterate common sense," he said.

    Great statement
     
  3. g7777777

    g7777777 TS Supporters TS Supporters

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 1998
    Messages:
    9,353
    So Joe

    1. I havent heard this locally

    2. What would you have them do? seems like he got a slap on the wrist- or his parents did

    3. If you think you have the votes- vote in an officials that will change the policy allowing guns and ammo in schools.

    4. They wont have my vote

    regards from Iowa

    Gene
     
  4. Catching Chrome

    Catching Chrome Member

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2009
    Messages:
    934
    While in my day it wasn't uncommon to bring a shotgun to school and have it locked in the principals office so we could hunt in the afternoon. today things are much different. While I agree it is pretty harmless a rule is rule. Is one shotgun shell the same as say a magazine full of 223 ammo, well no, but you have to draw the line. what would the parents have said if another kid brought the gun an their son brought the ammo and some ended up shot or worse dead. I agree with the zero-tolerance. It's up to the parents to police their kids and educate them about right and wrong. Kids should bring pencils to school not bullets.
     
  5. markdenis

    markdenis TS Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 1998
    Messages:
    1,123
    A sharp pencil would probably be about a thousand more times dangerous than what this kid brought to school. Somehow our society can't seem to figure this out.

    Mark Rounds
     
  6. EE

    EE Banned User Banned

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 1998
    Messages:
    540
    How about the forks they use to eat their lunch? If you guys are going to support zero-tolerance for weapons, you have to ban the utensils in the lunch room. And as Mark said, those pencils are very dangerous. And staplers, and scissors.

    Geez.....
     
  7. Joe Potosky

    Joe Potosky Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 1998
    Messages:
    5,486
    As the question was asked...

    The local elementary school down the road from my home does not have a 100% zero gun policy.

    The school board actually leaves it up to the principle (The last time I checked she was making over $90,000 a year and has several degrees) to judge each incident and take appropriate action as the case may warrant.

    In the past few years, several bullets have been found and also a plastic toy gun or two. I think also a few pin knifes have been confiscated. No child to my knowledge has been suspended, nor did the parents have to meet with the school board, as the Principle took care of it at her level.

    Works for me...
     
  8. timb99

    timb99 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 1998
    Messages:
    7,331
    Location:
    Shawnee, Kansas, USA
    You think this is bad, check out the link.

    Even lego people can't bring guns to school.
     
  9. Jollytrapshooter

    Jollytrapshooter Member

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2006
    Messages:
    881
    Here's the link for you Gene:<br><br>
    http://www.whotv.com/news/who-story-homeschool-suspension-020410,0,2623972.story<br><br>
    I think suspending a kid who didn't know any better is going too far. As much as I hate to say it, I could see maybe taking it from him and explaining why he shouldn't have something like that in school. I think it's stupid that everybody is afraid of a shotgun shell, but it's the world we live in now...

    Josh
     
  10. EE

    EE Banned User Banned

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 1998
    Messages:
    540
    "but it's the world we live in now..."

    That's somewhat true, Josh. But it doesn't have to be that way. Idiots need to stop voting and multiplying.

    And then you have people right here saying they support these stupid policies...

    EE
     
  11. ivanhoe

    ivanhoe Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 1998
    Messages:
    7,539
    Location:
    Oxford MA
    This person says,

    "Leigh McGivern, a district spokeswoman, said Wednesday she wasn't familiar with the incident. But she said school policies are drawn up primarily to protect students."

    This person says,

    "Dahm called live ammunition a "serious threat" for which the school district could be sued."

    "Dahm acknowledged in the e-mail that student discipline policies aren't distributed to families regularly because of printing costs. The e-mail said parents are expected to read the policy online. Dahm could not be reached for comment for this article."

    More financial burden to the poor school district. What if you don't own a computer or as in this case are schooling your child at home. Does school policy and its burdens apply to you?????

    So just who is the policy designed to protect. This seem to be the biggest part of the problem the School officials. Don't give a straight answer. They talk out of both sides of their mouths.

    This entire policy is about protecting the school district first and students second. If you are just a reader of the zero tolerance policy or are directly affected by it. A school teacher or administrator or a parent. These policies have never been about protecting students. They are designed to protect the school districts.

    Bob Lawless
     
  12. steele

    steele TS Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 1998
    Messages:
    811
    About 15 years ago, the same sort of thing occurred in a school near Pgh. A 2nd grade student drew a picture of he & his dad rabbit hunting, & obviously the kid drew 2 guns. A modified "zero tolerance" mode kicked in, whereas he really didn't have a gun, but he portrayed having a gun. He was to have a two week suspension. Obviously the parents blew their top on this. When I heard about it, I drafted a letter to the school board, to be read at the next school board meeting. I emphatically asked for the firing of every teacher, secretary, aid, cafeteria worker who had a stapler, also known as a "staple gun". Then I added all the bus mechanics who had a "greae gun". This had to be a more severe punishment than just a mere stick picture by an 8 year old kid, plus these are adults, who "had" to know better. In the end, they saw the stupidity of their ways, & everything was smoothed over. Butch
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
Search tags for this page

matthias beattie