Americans hemorrhaging rights to schools, employers and the government

By Gerard Valentino

After a recent morning duck hunting trip, a student from a rural California school district parked his truck off campus and walked to school to avoid running afoul of the school safety zone law that makes it illegal to have guns on school property.

For his trouble, he was expelled.

There are serious questions about the legality of the search that turned up the guns, but what isn't in question is the school administration's decision to expel him for having a gun in his privately-owned truck parked off of school property.

To justify the expulsion, the principal claimed jurisdiction over students as they travel to and from school. That fact, in the principal's mind, was the key factor that allowed the expulsion to take place.

Cases like this are yet another reason that liberty-minded Americans have largely given up on our public school system. As usual, at the heart of the issue is another zero tolerance policy, a long-held crutch for simple-minded educators unwilling to make hard decisions.

Still, the fact that the school thought it had any jurisdiction over the pre-school activities of a student should outrage all Americans.

Instead, because this is a gun-related issue, people are unlikely to see it as a serious threat to our freedoms. If you change the issue, however, and the student was expelled for having a Bible -or even marijuana - in his car under the same circumstances, the populace would be up in arms.

You can also bet the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) would get involved.

But, since it was a hunter and his shotgun that caused an overzealous school administration to react in an immoral manner, people will shrug it off.

Gone are the days when educators simply stuck to their sphere of influence – educating children. These days they effectively stalk students by checking Facebook pages, My Space accounts and other after school outlets for what they perceive to be bad behavior.

Instead of stalking students when they're out of school, educators should worry about doing their job and help our children prepare for competing in the real world. The time spent conjuring up reasons to search students' cars can be better spent preparing a scintillating lecture, or figuring out a better system for teaching Algebra.

Until parents, en masse, finally stand up and take back their parental rights, situations like this will continue, and students will get punished for doing nothing wrong. It's a sad state of affairs, but one we've allowed to happen.

The same situation carries over to how employers treat their employees in today's America. They also dictate off-work time by refusing to let employees keep guns locked in their personal cars while on company property. Such a policy disarms employees during the drive to and from work when they are off the clock.

Like the school in this case, employers want to control people, but only to a point. You can bet your employer won't allow a worker's comp claim if you're injured on the way to work - just like the school will claim they are not liable for a student being hurt during the commute to campus.

As Americans, we are hemorrhaging our rights to schools, employers and the government at an alarming rate. People seemingly don't care, and until there is a groundswell of support for putting schools, employers and the government back in their place, it will continue.

The fact is, a student or employee intent on going on a shooting spree will ignore the school safety zone law, or the no-gun policy at the workplace – we've seen it happen far too often. We've also had employees, students and teachers left unarmed in the face of horrific violence because they followed the law and were unarmed at a time when a gun in the hands of an honest person meant the difference between life and death.

But, until Americans stand up for our rights, self-proclaimed authorities will trample our freedoms in ways unfathomable to the Founding Fathers. Lesser men will also hide behind zero tolerance policies as a way to justify shortsighted, and blatantly illogical decisions unless we demand more from them.

Logic tells us that a student choosing to do the right thing by parking off of school grounds to avoid violating the law is not a threat, and the same is true of employees who admit locking a gun in their car. The problem begins when that fact is concealed from authorities.

As a crutch for the simpleminded, zero tolerance polices ignore logic, leading to situations like this one where a good student is permanently damaged because a school principal refuses to do the right thing.

By hiding behind these polices, educators are teaching our kids that independent thinking and logic are subservient to one-size-fits-all solutions, which is a sad commentary on our educational system.

It's an even sadder commentary on America today that we let them get away with it.

Gerard Valentino is the author of The Valentino Chronicles, available in the Buckeye Firearms Store, and is the Buckeye Firearms Foundation Treasurer.

Additional Information:
NRA and CRPA Foundation Assisting High School Student Appeal Expulsion for Unloaded Shotguns

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