A keychain ornament not much bigger than a quarter cost a Rhode Island boy only 25 tickets at a games arcade, but it was enough to get him three days suspension from school.
The tiny gun was a violation of the school’s zero tolerance weapons police, NBC affiliate WJAR reported.
Twelve-year-old Joseph Lyssikatos, a student at Feinstein Middle School in Coventry, told the station the keychain fell out of his backpack at school on Thursday. Another student picked it up and began showing it around to other kids until a teacher intervened.
And before long Joseph was on suspension.
But with only three days – the boy was getting off easy. He could have been out much longer.
According to the Daily Caller, the school’s handbook states that “Possession/carrying/use of/threat of use of a firearm or replica shall result in a recommendation for expulsion for a period of time up to one full calendar year.”
His father, Keith Bonanno, told a local radio station that the school’s behavioral specialist told him the boy was lucky he didn’t get a minimum of 10 days suspension or “even worse expelled.”
For a keychain? With a tiny plastic gun on it? There’s got to be more to it, right?
Not from Feinstein Middle officials, who also apparently have a zero tolerance policy when it comes to explaining stupidity. They declined to comment on the case beyond a brief statement.
“Because this is a student discipline issue, we cannot comment on any specifics,” the statement said.
It’s the second time in recent weeks the insanity of the zero tolerance policies on campus has bubbled up.
Last week, two Virginia Beach, Va., students were expelled from their middle school for playing with airsoft guns before school on Sept 12.
In that case, the boys were nowhere near school and barely near a bus stop that would take them to school, but school officials alerted to the horseplay by police suspended them anyway.
To borrow a phrase: Toy-gun keychains don’t suspend students for no reason. Idiots with education degrees suspend students for no reason.
And the year is yet young.