Skip to comments.Teacher Sues School over Suspension for 'Weapons' Charge: Showing Students Garden Tools
Posted on 04/23/2013 8:48:52 AM PDT by grundle
Attorneys for The Rutherford Institute have filed a civil rights lawsuit against a Chicago public school district on behalf of a second-grade teacher who was suspended after he displayed garden-variety tools such as wrenches, pliers and screwdrivers in his classroom as part of a "tool discussion" in his class.
Despite the fact that all potentially hazardous items were kept out of the students' reach, school officials at Washington Irving Elementary School informed Doug Bartlett, a 17-year veteran in the classroom, that his use of the tools as visual aids endangered his students. Bartlett was subsequently penalized with a four-day suspension without pay - charged with possessing, carrying, storing or using a weapon.
The complaint charges that Bartlett "suffered humiliation, embarrassment, mental suffering, and lost wages, and was suspended for four days" - and asks for "nominal and compensatory damages" and for the suspension to be expunged from the teacher's record.
"This school district's gross overreaction to a simple teaching demonstration on basic tools such as wrenches and pliers underscores exactly what is wrong with our nation's schools," said Rutherford Institute Pres. John Whitehead.
"What makes this case stand out from the rest is that this latest victim of zero tolerance policies run amok happens to be a veteran school teacher," Whitehead said.
None of the tools were made accessible to the students. When not in use, the tools were secured in a toolbox on a high shelf out of reach of the students. They were used to demonstrate the proper use of tools.
I don’t think it is too hard to identify the “tools” in this story.
So I guess there are no vocational schools in Chicago?
Garden tools? Methinks the educrat administration needs to be met with pitchforks and torches, buckets of warm tar and feathers.
It sounds like the end of our educational system. Just read the propaganda, children.
His real crime was letting the kids know there were such things as tools, which implies work.
Can’t have kids learning about work.
Earlier article stated that he showed a pocket knife. If true, then this article is carefully leaving out that detail. Zero tolerance after all is what they wanted.
Fur Shur we have another cadre of school administrators who should not be permitted to be in the presence of young children.
Chicago must be the most stupidly run school system in the country!
Thank God he never planted me in Chicago for any length of time.
What do they do in shop class?
Was prob the Hoe that got him in trouble!
Simple hand-tools are weapons in Chi-town schools. Wouldn’t want those young children, to find out about “working.”
A big surprise that most of those kids will be on welfare or SS disability at 16 or 18 and then they will just call the landlord to fix stuff around the apartments, just like the James Evans and Nathan Bookman/Buffalo Butt.
The Chicago public schools figure they dont need tools for that, just babies.
I still think the suspension over a knife would be silly, but it is an important point to the story.
Inaccurate title. Screwdrivers and wrenches are not garden tools. Someone saw “garden-variety” and didn’t read further. Poor comprehension again.
Exactly so! He strayed from the official lesson plan, which was to show them an EBT card and an Obamaphone...
Do they teach SHOP in high school anymore?
We were taught welding, fabrication, carpentry, blacksmithing, leathercraft, lapidary, and all types of skills that would send a modern teacher into spastic fits.
The purpose of “zero tolerance” is to manufacture white criminals because it is not fair that blacks commit a disproportionate share of crimes.
Its not like the teacher showed them a pressure cooker.
a dirty, motherless one at that
Certainly someone around here is familiar with kobudo...
<psychologically prepared for post deletion trauma>
That's easy. They go online and buy things.
damn .. shoulda known .. lol
Instruction in sodomy would have won him an award for tolerance and human rights.
No one there intends to work.
....to open her midmorning snack [a pear]. She knows how to use the tool safely.
The school went into lock-down, and her dad got a call at work.
He in turn, called me, mad as a wet hen! LOL
Our local high school does. My daughter filled out her schedule for her freshman year last week, and she almost took woodworking, but she chose Ag class instead as one of her electives.
Then again, she took a hunting certification course this year (8th grade) at her school. They take the first day of deer hunting season off the Monday after Thanksgiving in the local schools (and many workplaces, including my husband’s).
The first thing she asked after she passed her hunting certification class is if she could go squirrel hunting with the .22 rifle we bought her for Christmas.
Here is the same event covered in WorldNet Daily:
It mentions a 2-1/4” pocket knife and a box cutter.
Now this is Chicago. Remember ComDem Insane Turf. Home of Obozo and Rahm Emanuel.
2-1/4” is exactly the size of the lockback pocket knife I carry. I have had something like that in my pocket since I was 7 or 8 years old. Always carried it to school after I got my first pocket knife. Thought absolutely nothing of it. And feel as naked without it as I do my keys or my billfold.
This is NUTS.
The only thing that has prevented overall closures of the public schools as too dangerous to expose American youth to is that the teachers unions would then have to disband as completely non-functional.
A real lefty dilemma.
If he had shown his other tool and talk about man/boy love all would be forgiven.
makes sense in 2013
The only “screwdriver” approved by the Chicago Public Schools is covered by a condom.
Only in Chicago when GUN violence is high, would you think that a screwdriver is a weapon.
Should there be a tool registry at the local ACE Hardware to see if the buyer should be allowd to own a tool?
I wonder how many of the students have more access to a gun, then to a tool? And I wonder if they are in a single parent household and if they had gun violence in their young lives.
Or else he called a shovel a spade and someone got insulted.
I wanna be in that class.
Do they still have Metal Shop and Wood Shop Classes in Middle School?
Shop teachers will be executed
Indeed, it was the knife that got him suspended. However, in his defense the claim is that the prohibition applies to students (no scissors in the class room or knives in the student lunchroom available to servers?). PC runamuck - I suspect most inner city kids have them available even if they don’t carry them to school.
Not that I entirely disagree, but if you plan to show your kids a knife and boxcutter better run it by the office first for this exact reason.
Do they pat down for pens and pencils in those schools?
There obviously wasn't a hoe present or they would have jumped all over the racist/sexist angle.
If it’s a typical urban setting, these kids will certainly never see dad using a tool or be taught how to handle one. Seeing a tool might make the kids want to do some kind of work instead of becoming public charges. Oh, the horror!
When Lil’ Miss was 3, I let her use a real kitchen knife to slice cucumbers from the garden to make pickles. All ten fingers survived without a nick and no one was decapitated. No one was blown to bits when the jars were put into two pressure cookers (lids off for hot water bath, of course). Let’s count how many strikes that is - child abuse, child labor laws, garden tools, sharp knives, hot stove, pressure cookers and conservative white Christian productive taxpayer. When Lil’ Miss was older, with permission of the principal who laughed off any concern, took convict-made weapons to school for show and tell. It’s frightening how much this country has changed in the last half dozen years.
lol...we made swords, sai’s, throwing stars, anything we could fabricate out of metal that would injure another person. Metal Shop was awesome.
As always, the journalism majors and the headline writers are ignoring the facts of the story in an effort to gain ratings.