GOLDSBORO, N.C. – Sometimes it seems the adults entrusted with running our schools have less sense and judgment than the children they’re supposed to be educating.
That seems to be the case in North Carolina’s Eastern Wayne Middle School where, last Friday, a school employee dressed as an armed robber – complete with ski mask and toy handgun – entered sixth-grade classrooms and pretended to steal an item, reports WTDV-TV.
School officials say the “skit” was meant to teach the youngsters a lesson in “good citizenship” and the importance of “observing your surroundings,” but acknowledge it caused terror among some students.
“Even though the play-acting caused some initial concerns, once the skit was completed, the teachers quickly explained who the person was and that the ‘theft’ was not real,” wrote Principal Catherine Fulcher in a letter to parents. “Students were then asked to discuss what they observed.”
What the students observed was a man walking through a school with something that looked like a gun, less than a year after the shooting tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut. What were these people thinking?
Even more ironic is that schools across the nation have been expelling small children for having tiny pistol-like trinkets on their key rings, or wearing National Rifle Association shirts to school.
Perhaps sensing that Fulcher’s letter was a weak response to such a dumb blunder, a district spokesman admitted to WTDV-TV the skit lacked “sensitivity” in light of recent school shootings.
“The exercise in its original intent was appropriate, but in how it was executed it obviously lacked judgment,” said Ken Derksen, public information officer for the Wayne County school district.
WTDV-TV reports the school employee who dressed as the armed bandit could be disciplined for the stunt.
How could the district not discipline him? If students had staged a similar stunt, they would surely be suspended – and possibly even expelled.
Adults should be subjected to the same penalties. If anything, they should face stiffer punishments, given that adults are supposed to set an example for the children in their care.
Such buffoonery does not belong in our schools – particularly these days – and North Carolina parents and taxpayers should demand it never happens again.
By Ben Velderman at EAGnews.org