Let’s start from the beginning.
What is the definition of a “school?” Let’s look that up.
According to Dictionary.com, a school is “an institution where instruction is given, especially to persons under college age.”
That definition implies there are people at that institution who are intelligent enough that they are somehow in a position to bestow said instruction upon those young persons.
However, in this story, that is decidedly not the case.
Here’s the background in a nutshell as reported at The Roanoke Times:
Some schoolchildren claim another student bragged about having marijuana. They inform school administrators. An assistant principal finds a leaf and a lighter in the boy’s knapsack. The student is suspended for a year. A sheriff’s deputy files marijuana possession charges in juvenile court.
All of the above and more happened last September to the 11-year-old son of Bedford County residents Bruce and Linda Bays. He was a sixth-grader in the gifted-and-talented program at Bedford Middle School.
There was only one problem: Months after the fact, the couple learned the substance wasn’t marijuana. A prosecutor dropped the juvenile court charge because the leaf had field-tested negative three times.
Their son remains out of school — he’s due to return Monday on strict probation. But in the meantime, the events of the past six months have wreaked havoc on the formerly happy-go-lucky boy’s psyche. His parents say he’s withdrawn socially, and is now under the care of a pediatric psychiatrist for panic attacks and depression.
The couple — both are schoolteachers — have filed a federal lawsuit against Bedford County Schools and the Bedford County Sheriff’s Office. It refers to their son only by the initials R.M.B.
Further, the kid claims he has no idea how the leaf got into his bookbag in the first place and that he never showed any leaf to anyone or bragged about anything. When the parents asked to see said leaf, they were told they couldn’t because it had already been submitted into evidence.
The students who told on the kid for bragging about marijuana also apparently had a whopper of a story about how the kid’s father grows all kinds of marijuana all over the backyard, another unsubstantiated claim.
It looks like what happened is this kid got bullied by some middle schoolers who thought it would be a real funny prank to stick a leaf and a lighter in a kid’s backpack, then turn him in and say it was marijuana.
The problem with that is, there has to be adults in charge who are smart enough not to get fooled by a group of 11-year-olds.
So, instead of giving this kid the benefit of the doubt and testing the leaf first… the people running the show over at Bedford Middle School decided it would be better to completely screw an 11-year-old child up probably for life by immediately believing any old story some other 11-year-olds tell them, not apparently using any common sense whatsoever, and kicking a gifted student out of school for a whole year and having drug charges slapped on him… all without ANY ACTUAL PROOF WHATSOEVER that any crime had even taken place.
Oh, and this apparently happened and became part of the lawsuit which:
…also accuses the Bedford County Sheriff’s Office of malicious prosecution, because Deputy M.M. Calohan, a school resource officer, filed marijuana possession charges against the boy despite field tests that indicated otherwise.
“The field test came back not inconclusive, but negative,” Williams said. “Yet she went to a magistrate and swore he possessed marijuana at school.”
What was that, to save face at that point because they already realized how badly they screwed up?
Who can ever take anything any of these people say about anything seriously ever again?
The war on drugs is already beyond a joke at this point, but now we’ve sunk to this depth. These are the people in charge of public education and our criminal justice system, America.
People who will completely ruin a child, screw up his life, and overreact to the point that it makes soap operas look like CSPAN on a Tuesday and all because they can’t bother to tell the difference between a smoke-able illegal substance and a normal ass leaf.
I don’t even know what else to say. This is the dumbest story I have read all year, perhaps even more ignorant than that time the school suspended the kid for “making a terroristic threat” by declaring he was going to make another kid disappear with his magical one ring from The Hobbit movie.
I actually feel dumber for having read it, for it thus lodging into a crack somewhere in my grey brain matter and possibly staying there forever like the Three’s Company theme song.
Thanks a lot, Bedford County public schools for making me stupid, too.
(Rant continued below.)
Edit: This comment below by Cama9 is spot on, so I thought it should be added:
This from the state that brought us George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Patrick Henry and George Mason just to name a few. They must be turning in the graves writhing in pain at the stupidy that is now Virginia.
According to the original Roanaoke article, under Virginia’s “school system’s anti-drug policy it may not matter whether the leaf was actually marijuana or a similar-looking leaf, such as from a Japanese maple tree.
That’s because the policy treats “lookalike” and “imitation” drugs the same as the real thing. Here’s what it says:
“The unlawful manufacture, distribution, dispensation, possession, use or being under the influence of alcohol, anabolic steroids, or any narcotic drug, hallucinogenic drug, amphetamine, barbiturate, marijuana or other controlled substance … [or] imitation controlled substances or drug paraphernalia while on school property, while going to and from school, or while engaged in or attending any school-sponsored or school approved activity or event, is prohibited, and will result in an automatic recommendation of expulsion.”
Since when is a maple leaf an imitation controlled substance?
Children can’t even bring leaves into the school for Show and Tell – if they even have that any more.
The people of Virginia need to rise up against this abusive behavior and force their legislature to change this policy. Or maybe they need to organize a huge walk out and keep their children home – starve the school system of funds. Home schooling is the way to go, anyway.
Zero tolerance must equal zero common sense.
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Melissa Dykes is a writer, researcher, and analyst for The Daily Sheeple and a co-creator of Truthstream Media with Aaron Dykes, a site that offers teleprompter-free, unscripted analysis of The Matrix we find ourselves living in. Melissa and Aaron also recently launched Revolution of the Method and Informed Dissent. Wake the flock up!