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3rd Circuit: N.J. school can punish boy for playtime threat(zero tolerance MEGA barf alert)
freedom forum ^ | 6.23.03 | associated press

Posted on 06/23/2003 12:37:05 PM PDT by freepatriot32

SAYREVILLE, N.J. — The Sayreville school district did not violate the rights of a kindergartner it suspended three years ago for threatening to shoot his friends as they played a game during recess, a federal appeals court ruled.

The June 19 ruling by a three-judge panel of the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed a federal judge’s decision last year that dismissed a lawsuit filed by the boy’s parents.

Scot and Cassandra Garrick sued the Middlesex County school district after their son and three other students were suspended following the March 15, 2000, incident in which their child told his friends, “I’m going to shoot you.”

The children were playing at the time, pretending their fingers were guns and saying to one another, “I want to shoot you,” the Home News Tribune of East Brunswick reported. Their words were overheard by classmates, who told teachers.

The Garricks were the only parents to bring civil action against the district, claiming their son’s free-speech and due-process rights had been violated. They sought unspecified damages and asked that the suspension be removed from their son’s school record. The child was enrolled in private school following the incident.

Students do not “shed their constitutional rights to freedom of speech or expression at the schoolhouse gate,” the court said. But, the panel said, there has to be a balance between the “freedom to advocate unpopular and controversial views in the classroom” and “society’s countervailing interest in teaching students the boundaries of socially appropriate behavior.”

Sayreville’s superintendent of schools, Dennis Fyffe, termed the federal appeals court ruling a “very nice victory for the district.”

Fyffe said the four boys were suspended under the district’s zero-tolerance policy.

“These students were suspended under the school policy that deals with general school behavior,” Fyffe told the newspaper. “This was not cops and robbers.”

Nisha Mohammed, a spokeswoman for the Rutherford Institute, the Virginia-based nonprofit group that is representing the Garricks, said the parents were outraged by the ruling and are determined to appeal.

The group’s founder, John Whitehead, said parental notification could become a central issue on appeal since the Garricks were not notified and therefore could not attend the hearing that led to their son’s suspension.

“This was overreaction and over-punishment,” Whitehead said. “It’s part of the zero-tolerance mentality of no questions asked and you just throw (students) out.”

Court records show that school principal Georgia Baumann, who was named in the civil suit, did attempt to contact parents before holding the hearing.

“There is no need to delay between the time the notice is given and the time of the hearing,” court papers say.

The fact that the boys admitted to the principal that they were playing guns, “fulfilled the requirements of due process which can be satisfied in a case like this by informal procedure,” the court ruled.


TOPICS: Breaking News; Constitution/Conservatism; Crime/Corruption; Culture/Society; Extended News; Front Page News; Government; News/Current Events; Philosophy; Politics/Elections; US: New Jersey
KEYWORDS: 3rd; against; board; boy; can; circuit; corrupt; education; for; nj; playtime; punish; school; threat; tolerance; war; zero; zerotolerance
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the school boards in this country view children the same way that george bush views al quada and the taliban
1 posted on 06/23/2003 12:37:06 PM PDT by freepatriot32
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To: freepatriot32
And doubts left that the courts in NJ are out of their minds...........
2 posted on 06/23/2003 12:40:49 PM PDT by OldFriend (Liberal bias in the media????)
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To: freepatriot32; da_toolman
Hell, if things were like this were I grew up - I would have been expelled permanently for playing cowboys and indians. (now known as cowboys and muslims). What a bunch of bullshit.
3 posted on 06/23/2003 12:42:41 PM PDT by phasma proeliator (it's better to die with honor than to live without it.)
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To: phasma proeliator
"were" = where>
4 posted on 06/23/2003 12:43:44 PM PDT by phasma proeliator (it's better to die with honor than to live without it.)
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To: freepatriot32
good grief......I guess cops and robbers is evil nowdays.

It was just 12 years ago I remember the fun we had at school playing games like that.

Now if kids do it, they better hire a lawyer. Geez.
5 posted on 06/23/2003 12:46:17 PM PDT by rwfromkansas ("There is dust enough on some of your Bibles to write 'damnation' with your fingers." C.H. Spurgeon)
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To: freepatriot32
This is a stinky decision. Hysteria of being PC is ridiculous. Quite often people use the phrase "I'm going to shoot" whoever as a way of taking them to task, meaning not literally. Example: Quite often I tell my son that I'm going to shoot him if he doesn't straighten up and fly right, but taking a gun and actually shoot him is not even in my mind.
6 posted on 06/23/2003 12:46:45 PM PDT by lilylangtree
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To: freepatriot32
First off, it's clear that the rule is ludicrous.

But it's not up to the court to throw out ludicrous rules. The courts are not legislatures (no matter how much Justice O'Connor acted like a legislator in her rulings today).

Someone said long ago that the Supreme Court needed a rubber stamp labeled "STUPID BUT CONSTITUTIONAL".

The real question is why haven't the school board members responsible for implementing this ridiculous zero tolerance policy been recalled, and why haven't the statutes authorizing such actions been revised?

It's not up to the courts to repair idiotic political decisions that still pass constitutional muster. It's up to the politicians and the people who elected them to fix that.
7 posted on 06/23/2003 12:48:03 PM PDT by Numbers Guy
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To: freepatriot32
Wakeup call to these parents: Consider it a Divine sign that your kids are better off NOT in these schools.
8 posted on 06/23/2003 12:51:31 PM PDT by newgeezer (Just my opinion, of course. Your mileage may vary. You have the right to be wrong.)
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To: freepatriot32

9 posted on 06/23/2003 12:54:51 PM PDT by South40 (Get Right Or Get Left)
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To: rwfromkansas
good grief......I guess cops and robbers is evil nowdays.

I hate to break this to you, but yea. Most schools have effectivley banned that game, and many more have banned games that involve other forms of competition.

10 posted on 06/23/2003 12:55:53 PM PDT by Sonny M ("oderint dum metuant")
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To: freepatriot32
zero-tolerance policy means that the school teachers and administrations no longer have to think, they just see someone "break a rule" and then punish the student.

This case is just as stupid as the girl in GA who go suspended for the butter knife on her floor board for breaking the zero-tolerance no weapons policy.
11 posted on 06/23/2003 12:59:28 PM PDT by jgrubbs
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To: freepatriot32

12 posted on 06/23/2003 1:04:09 PM PDT by South40 (Get Right Or Get Left)
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To: jgrubbs
Instaed of suing (which is the same mind-set as the school and the judge, these parents should just MOVE.

If folks would get away from socialist schools (including colleges), quit funding them...
13 posted on 06/23/2003 1:07:50 PM PDT by Roughneck (Get the U.N. out of the U.S, and get the U.S. out of the U.N.)
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To: freepatriot32
Wait! We must ask the race of the alleged perpetrator and his targets. We cannot judge without including race in every equation. The Supreme Court just said so.
14 posted on 06/23/2003 1:11:49 PM PDT by Uncle Miltie (Tax & Spend Democrats HARM the economy; Buchananite Protectionists would DESTROY it.)
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To: freepatriot32
Their words were overheard by classmates, who told teachers.

When I was growing up, this was known as snitching and snitches became outcasts.
15 posted on 06/23/2003 1:15:23 PM PDT by microgood (They will all die......most of them.)
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To: freepatriot32
society’s countervailing interest in teaching students the boundaries of socially appropriate behavior.

Of course, if he had said,"I'm going to fu** you up the a**." it would have been OK because that's a "socially acceptable lifestyle" comment...

16 posted on 06/23/2003 1:17:40 PM PDT by trebb
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To: freepatriot32
Homeschool rules!!!!!
17 posted on 06/23/2003 1:23:43 PM PDT by goodseedhomeschool
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To: jdogbearhunter
wankers
18 posted on 06/23/2003 1:39:24 PM PDT by phasma proeliator (it's better to die with honor than to live without it.)
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To: freepatriot32
The problem is that one can't move away from this PC crap. "Zero tolerance" is a curse that the Demoncrap-infested NEA has pushed, and politicians buy into because of percieved "threats" which have been propagandized into the "Merican Pipple" since the mid '80s.

My wife, who happens to work for the justice system, now tells me that overworked District Justices now have to dispense jurisprudence in such inane things as "Smoking Court" (yep, smoke a damn cigarette, go to court) "Fighting Court" (a real good name if I ever saw one, and this is actually for the fighting that DOESNT happen in court) and when all else is left, "Zero Tolerance" court (anything left out of the first two.) Sounds a bit like The Gulag Archipelago doesn't it????

We have become such a wimped out, hand wringing bunch of nothing that these "Zero Tolerance" laws get passed faster and faster, simply because previous "Zero Tolerance" laws have created a condition equivalent to caging wild animals in small cage, and letting them pace aimlessly in circles 24/7 until something snaps, violence occurs, creating an immediate need for further "Zero Tolerance" laws. Self perpetuating insanity, pure and simple, with a real hefty dose of Communism/Leftism/Liberalism mixed in, dosed with heavy amounts of Ritalin, and stirred with the shrill rhetoric of the anti-self defense bunch. Parents are not allowed to discipline their children any more, and the kids damn well know it... parents have been sent to jail for spanking their obstreperous youngster, as a matter of fact, in a lot of this "Zero tolerance" s**t, parents have been sent to jail for the actions of their children, and the children have simply been released, scot free, to do whatever the hell kids do nowadays when the parents aren't around. Great justice Huh?

I wish I knew what the answer was. First, repeal all the "Zero Tolerance" laws and let kids socialize the way they have for all eternity, by interaction with other kids. Those who do sure don't pile up a bunch of inner hostility because they are arbitrarily restrained from harmless activity. Second, the NEA has got to be broken, and broken well, so we don't have the proverbial 800 lb (Demoncratic/Communist/Leftist/Liberal) gorilla basically running all the educational process. Third, we have to restore some legitimacy to parental dicipline, and not make criminals out of parents who have a hard enough time trying to "tame" their youngsters, who have been caged and forbidden enough to make crazed the most docile being.

Can we do this without universal homeschooling, which in today's economic conditions is not really feasable? I don't know, but there has to be a fundamental shift in education, to remove the insidious slide of the last 35 years (note, I set the "watershed" year for the start of the nonsense as '68, which would be basically, the first year Colleges and Universities graduated a "counterculture" class, the year of the 2nd original sin, the GCA'68, and the height of the looting, burning, and insanity which damn near burned the heart out of this Republic. (Note: I feel fortunate that I was able to "witness this from outside, as I spent that particular period of my life serving in the military, and only found out the real truth much later, after my return home).

At any rate, the insanity will simply continue to get worse, unless immediate measures are taken to stop this silly PC crap in the bud. I realize NJ is a liberal infested state, of the first water, but then so is much of the Northeast, and I see no real movement down the sane and correct path as long as the people get their "bread and circuses" (Zero Tolerance). It is just too simple to pass blame off on others when the laws enable same, and most parents just don't give a damn what their kids do, or don't do any more. What is seen coming into the justice system earlier and earlier, proves this point, and the untenability of the hopeless "Zero Tolerance" escalation.

Keep the Faith For Freedom & GOD BLESS AMERICA.

Greg

19 posted on 06/23/2003 1:44:53 PM PDT by gwmoore (As the Russian manual for the Nagant Revolver states: "Target Practice: "at the deserter, FIRE")
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To: phasma proeliator
"Hell, if things were like this were I grew up - I would have been expelled permanently ..."

I'm with you. I shot imaginary guns at all sorts of people, threw imaginary grenades into the classrooms of teachers that drove me crazy, and (only in grade school) stole kisses from cute girls.

I guess that means I'm violent, a warmonger, and a sexual predator. Sheesh.

20 posted on 06/23/2003 1:46:19 PM PDT by tom h
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To: tom h
"I guess that means I'm violent, a warmonger, and a sexual predator. Sheesh."

Yeah - you and me both. It's a good thing that there's somebody (3rd Circuit) watching to make sure no other kids fall down the same deep, dark hole you and I have.

21 posted on 06/23/2003 1:53:06 PM PDT by phasma proeliator (it's better to die with honor than to live without it.)
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To: freepatriot32
Our 5-year-old son Daniel wouldn't last a day in a school like this.  You give him an arbitrary object, and the next thing you know he's Buzz Lightyear of Star Command, making laser noises as he waves the object around.

Oh, did I mention that we'll be homeschooling him?  :-)

22 posted on 06/23/2003 2:02:25 PM PDT by Constitutionalist Conservative (http://c-pol.com)
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To: lilylangtree
"Example: Quite often I tell my son that I'm going to shoot him if he doesn't straighten up and fly right, but taking a gun and actually shoot him is not even in my mind."

Interesting. I remember when I said that about someone at about age 5. My father, a lifelong hunter, a WWII vet, and an avid collector of shotguns, took me aside and told me in no uncertain terms that I was never to use that particular threat unless I had a firearm in my hands and was prepared to use it.

Telling someone you're going to shoot them is not a good idea. It trivializes the action. Actually, threatening to kill someone in jest is a bad idea all around.

Do not threaten what you are not willing to carry out. That's what my Dad taught me.
23 posted on 06/23/2003 2:02:53 PM PDT by MineralMan (godless atheist)
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To: phasma proeliator
(now known as cowboys and muslims)

Actually, my boys call it Army and Muslims

24 posted on 06/23/2003 2:11:44 PM PDT by eyespysomething (Breaking down the stereotypes of soccer moms everyday!)
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To: Brad Cloven
We cannot judge without including race in every equation.

Unless you're the police, then its profiling and wrong

25 posted on 06/23/2003 2:13:42 PM PDT by eyespysomething (Breaking down the stereotypes of soccer moms everyday!)
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To: microgood
Today they are praised. Welcome to Amerika.
26 posted on 06/23/2003 2:14:01 PM PDT by ladylib
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To: eyespysomething
"Army and Muslims"

That works too! ;-)

27 posted on 06/23/2003 2:19:30 PM PDT by phasma proeliator (it's better to die with honor than to live without it.)
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To: Constitutionalist Conservative
My cousin's 3-year-old has a piece of a toy railroad track that is sort of pointed at the end. He calls it his knife. It's almost always in his possession and at the ready if he has to lunge at a wild animal or has to "cut" a piece of rope.

Boys today are being raised by the state as wussies. God help us all.

One of my cousins has the sense to send her boy to an all- boys school where the teachers and administration realize that "boys will be boys."

28 posted on 06/23/2003 2:22:57 PM PDT by ladylib
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To: eyespysomething
"We cannot judge without including race in every equation."

"Unless you're the police, then its profiling and wrong."

Recruiting snitches must be a bitch....Whoops! That's insensitive to irritable womyn.

29 posted on 06/23/2003 2:25:54 PM PDT by Uncle Miltie (Racism is the codified policy of the USA .... - The Supremes)
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To: tom h
The idiot teacher who is offended by a child pointing a finger has to be put through "tollerance" training.

Divided, parents are EASY to pick off one by one. It does not matter that parents INDIVIDUALLY are outraged. The PTA does not matter because they have been absorbed into the NEA style infrastructure. The solution is for VOTING parents to form a unified organization and speak with ONE voice against pc stupidity.

I also believe ALL counties/municipalities/school districts need a law which FORCES them to deduct private and home school students from their student population. Now school board do not factor private school students in their budget formulas.
30 posted on 06/23/2003 2:26:52 PM PDT by longtermmemmory
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To: phasma proeliator
And ... [horrors!] I'm also a conservative evangelical Christian. The conclusion is clear -- pretend to shoot guns as a boy and you turn into a [gasp!] Christian.
31 posted on 06/23/2003 2:34:54 PM PDT by tom h
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To: ladylib
You are right. Boys ARE being raised as wusses. Its by design. Individual strength of character in boys is a threat to feminists. (don't even start on ritalin. BTW I saw a commercial for ADULT ADD drugs yesterday!!)

Women have lost the art of raising a son. Fathers have lost the ability to set an example. Private school or homeschooling is more and more becoming the only viable way to protect your children.
32 posted on 06/23/2003 2:35:25 PM PDT by longtermmemmory
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To: rwfromkansas
THE PROBLEM IS THEY WILL NOT LET KIDS BE KIDS. THEY ARE SUPPOSED TO ENTER GRADE SCHOOL AS ADULTS AND SHOULD KNOW BETTER. THE NEXT TIME THIS KID GETS CAUGHT BEING A KID IN SCHOOL THEY BETTER PROCECUTE HIM TO THE FULLEST EXTENT OF THE LAW. THEY ARE EVIL LITTLE BRATS AND DESERVE EVERYTHILNG THEY GET. pleasse somebody tell me WHATS GOING ON IN THESE PRINCPLES MINDS? FOR gOD SAKES. GET OUT OF THE CHILD BUSINESS ALTOGETHER IF THEY CAN'T TELL THE TEACHERS THAT TOLD ON THE KIDS TO ,"GET A LIFE"
33 posted on 06/23/2003 2:49:09 PM PDT by Walnut
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To: freepatriot32
oH, i GET IT. THEY ARE PRACTICING ON THE KIDS FOR WHEN THEY FACE A REAL ENEMY. YEA, THAT MUST BE IT. OTHERWISE THEY LOOK FOOLISH. WAIT , THEY DO LOOK FOOLISH. GIVE ME A BREAK. i HOPE THE KID DOESN'T GET INTO A FIGHT (LIKE i HAVE AND ALL MY FRIENDS HAVE AT ONE TIME OR OTHER IN SCHOOL) THEY WILL PROBUBLY GET LIFE WITH - OUT PAROLE.
34 posted on 06/23/2003 2:53:43 PM PDT by Walnut
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To: newgeezer
AMEN
35 posted on 06/23/2003 2:55:06 PM PDT by Walnut
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To: longtermmemmory
I'm helping homeschool my nephew, and he's at the age where he is in need of a strong male father figure. He didn't have this type of role model at school, and he's *fortunately* getting it from Grampa. He will listen to me (strong authority figure) but sometimes, boys need men to show them how to behave and act.
36 posted on 06/23/2003 2:58:17 PM PDT by Maigrey (Member of the Dose's Jesus Freaks and Gonzo News Service)
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To: freepatriot32
Fyffe said the four boys were suspended under the district’s zero -tolerance common sense policy.


37 posted on 06/23/2003 3:05:19 PM PDT by unixfox (Close the borders, problems solved!)
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To: freepatriot32
So, if he said "Go to Hell," the zero-tolerance policy would have allowed the school to execute the kid?
38 posted on 06/23/2003 3:08:36 PM PDT by Ed_in_NJ
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To: freepatriot32
Students do not “shed their constitutional rights to freedom of speech or expression at the schoolhouse gate,” the court said. But, the panel said, there has to be a balance between the “freedom to advocate unpopular and controversial views in the classroom” and “society’s countervailing interest in teaching students the boundaries of socially appropriate behavior.”

The balance the Court refers to, here, sounds totally inapplicable to a case of little boys playing a shoot 'em up type game. You have to be a very goofy Leftist to believe that there is anything socially inappropriate for little boys to be playing this type of game. What planet are these Judges and school officials from?

I guess that coupling of Judges with wacked out school officials, disqualifies me from ever practising in that Circuit; but, frankly, if they see themselves sitting down to tea with the Mad Hatter & the rest of the crew, that Alice found down the Rabbit hole, I don't expect that I could do a client much good in their Court. Reality is obviously not one of their strengths.

William Flax Return Of The Gods Web Site

39 posted on 06/23/2003 3:18:38 PM PDT by Ohioan
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To: freepatriot32
So the kid MUST be on his way to being a mass murderer. After all, he pointed his finger while playing a cops and robbers type game and said "I'm gonna shoot you". His finger must have been a pretty powerful weapon. Of course, no sane individual has EVER pointed his finger as a child, pretending it to be a gun. I swear, his kid should be locked up.
40 posted on 06/23/2003 3:29:00 PM PDT by baseballfanjm
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To: baseballfanjm
his kid=this kid. Oh yes, that post was sarcastic if you didn't get it the first time 'round. You never know what people will take seriously.
41 posted on 06/23/2003 3:29:59 PM PDT by baseballfanjm
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To: OldFriend
And doubts left that the courts in NJ are out of their minds

This was a U.S. Court of Appeals, not a New Jersey court.

42 posted on 06/23/2003 3:31:57 PM PDT by Sandy
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To: Numbers Guy
"STUPID BUT CONSTITUTIONAL"

Exactly.

43 posted on 06/23/2003 3:34:54 PM PDT by Sandy
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To: longtermmemmory
If I had a child in that school system and I found out that he/she squealed on those kids, I'd smack him/her into next week.
44 posted on 06/23/2003 4:16:12 PM PDT by ladylib
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To: gwmoore
The problem is that one can't move away from this PC crap.

Yes you can.

It's called withdrawing the kids from the POS system (that would be "Public Operated Schools" system...) and homeschooling them.

45 posted on 06/23/2003 4:43:45 PM PDT by Luke Skyfreeper
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To: MineralMan
PC is making it impossible for kids to pretend to be a cowboy or cowgirl shooting the bad guys with our handy dandy six gun, or cops v. robbers. No wonder H'weirdo makes few westerns.
46 posted on 06/23/2003 4:47:51 PM PDT by lilylangtree
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To: freepatriot32
I'm glad I escaped a lot of this BS when I was in grade school.
47 posted on 06/23/2003 5:56:51 PM PDT by Dan from Michigan ("Say Hey! Hey! Damn Yankee!")
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To: MineralMan
Do not threaten what you are not willing to carry out. That's what my Dad taught me.

Your Dad sounds like a very wise man.
My father taught me the same thing.
I had my own 20 gauge shotgun and 13 shot .22 pump rifle at the age of 12 and have never shot anything I did not mean to shoot.

48 posted on 06/23/2003 6:04:09 PM PDT by Just another Joe (FReeping can be addictive and helpful to your mental health)
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To: OldFriend
"And doubts left that the courts people in NJ are out of their minds........."

Any doubt that based on who their Senators and other politicians are, that that state belongs more in Canada than the U.S.?
49 posted on 06/23/2003 7:26:14 PM PDT by Beck_isright (When Senator Byrd landed on an aircraft carrier, the blacks were forced below shoveling coal...)
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To: freepatriot32
zero tolerance = zero responsibility = zero brains
50 posted on 06/23/2003 7:38:06 PM PDT by Just another Joe (FReeping can be addictive and helpful to your mental health)
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