Teacher Sues School over Suspension for ‘Weapons’ Charge: Showing Students Garden Tools

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Top Tier Gear USA


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.

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    • MAX,they know exactly what their doing,DESTROYING THE CHILDREN,they know if everything is a possible weapon,it might be used to cut their commie throat,but they should worry about the parents,cause they are the ones who can ID all these commie traitors………….

  • I can totally understand this madness in the forced schooling we call education. I guess I’m in a great situation in my school system. I’ve got an arsenal of “tools” in my classroom.

    The harm being done to these children, and all children in government schools, happens in broad daylight. No one bats an eye at the brainwashing, controlling, and coercing that happens daily to your children.

    Good luck Mr. Barlett!

    • AW,don’t worry about it joe,it won’t be to long and the enterance to every school in america will have the trees decorated with commie teachers who went along to get along,especialy the ones who retired and think they got away…………..

  • John

    No wonder people are buying record quantities of guns when you’ve got obvious crazies like this in charge.

  • Tom

    Yeah sure! Don’t show them how to use tools that may make them less dependent. Let the guys on the corner show them how to shoot instead. Don’t want the gun crime stats to go down in Chicago.

  • James

    If you read the report, it says there was a pocket knife and box cutter, I don’t consider those as garden tools, this article is misleading.

    • James have you ever given any thought to HANGING your self or maybe just leaving this awful country you find to dangerious for children to be anything but morons like you?

    • VegasJames

      You’re full of it. A pocketknife is part of every essential tool kit, including all leathermans. I use a box cutter in my garden frequently to open bags, place down my string and several other uses that a knife is too clumsy for. It’s a case of someone settling a grudge or an extreme overreaction.

    • SKIP

      So, you just made it clear that you do not have a tool box and never worked in a garden before.

  • RickE.

    PROOF that liberalism is a disease that must be eradicated!!

    • Jean

      They’re not insane, they are EVIL. Please make the distinction, and plan accordingly.
      And act, frequently, without provocation, or one day it will be your neck on the block…

  • Prepper

    Teaching children how to be self-sufficient with their own tools is an absolute no-no in modern america. It’s a thought-crime.

    Silly goyim, didn’t you know that?

  • OH NO,just what the women in america have been trying to stop,CHILDREN WHO KNOW HOW TO DO ANYTHING ,but kiss their fat ass…………………..

  • mijj

    Such hypocrisy.

    there are going to be big opportunities in torture, drone piloting, and various other forms of murder and mutilation when these kids grow up. Learning the full potential of garden tools as weapons is an essential patriotic first step in learning these useful Crafts.

  • dadwasright

    Please tell me I am not the only one here who wants to bitch slap them, until they begun to show some signs of intelligence. ?

  • Not anyone important

    It’s simple. The parents need to get the community to demand the school board fire the administration involved in this. If the school board fails to do this, then they need to recall every one of them based on the premise that this is how they will run the schools in the future.

    If the community fails to do this, then stop complaining. You get what you allow.