- The Washington Times - Wednesday, June 29, 2016

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

Grown folk, pay attention.

A third-grader talked about the brownies that were going to be served at his class’ end-of-school party. A classmate said his comment was “racist.” The teacher called the police. The boy was suspended. Child protection services began a probe. Parents are livid.

Tsk, tsk, tsk. The grownups disappoint.

Even in this day and utterly feckless age of victimization, what happened to this 9-year-old boy who attends William P. Tatem Elementary School in Collingswood, New Jersey, is beyond the fence post. The adults failed the children.

The impetus for the victimization ploy and indefensible overreach stems from a May 25 meeting where city officials, police officials and school authorities decided that it’s best to err on the side of caution when students complain or don’t agree with one another.


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The authorities also were told to report “just about every incident” to the state Division of Child Protection and Permanency. So instead of reporting such serious offenses as fights, threats and weapons, school authorities adopted a below-zero tolerance approach. Collingswood Schools Superintendent Scott Oswald estimates that since the May 25 meeting, police were called to schools as many as five times a day.

Stacy dos Santos, mother of the boy who commented on the brownies, said her son is “traumatized” and that her family is owed an apology.

It’s no stretch to say they are owed multiple apologies.

Megan Irwin, who teaches first grade in neighboring Pennsauken Township, told philly.com that schools call police when some kid-like behavior can easily be handled by the adults inside the schoolhouse.

“Never in my years of teaching have I ever felt uncomfortable handling a situation or felt like I didn’t know how to handle a situation,” she said.

Hear, hear.

Parents should take offense at how the “grownups” handled the “racist” brownie incident.

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