Tuesday, November 16, 2004
Guns are bad, unkay.
The Union Leader is reporting that a New Hampshire high school is being sued by one of its students for refusing to put his picture in the yearbook. The reason for the omission, according to the school, is that the young man in question (we'll call him "Plaintiff") is holding a broken shotgun in the picture.
Legally speaking, I have to chalk this one up as a tempest in a teapot. However, this is an example of discrimination -- certainly not constitutional or statutorily-prohibited discrimination -- but discrimination nonetheless. The kid is an avid trap shooter; he has his yearbook picture taken with a shotgun; and there does not appear to be any school policy prohibiting such a picture -- so what is the problem? According to the School Superintendent, it is "context." Evidently, putting the picture in a section relegated to "community sports" is fine, but putting it between the prom queen and the stoner in the class section would give the impression that the school supports the wholesale slaughter of babies with shotguns. Thank God we have education bureaucrats to hone these fine distinctions, because, you know, babies can't defend themselves.
The thing that I keep thinking is how differently the district is handling the question of teen gun use as opposed to, say, teen sex. Admittedly this is stretching a point, but it appears that the school district is saying that placing a picture of a young man responsibly holding a sporting gun is somehow promoting gun use (which is evidently bad). Accepting that, how does this square against the general assertion of education bureaucrats that proactively teaching students about "safe sex" is not actually promoting sex? Hey, both gun use and teenage sex are protected by the constitution, feel great, and can be dangerous -- but for some reason having kids rolling condoms down bananas is responsible education while a picture of someone properly holding a broken shotgun is "inappropriate."
If the school district really cared about teen gun use it would mandate that students attend a gun safety class, because kids are going to do it and, as they say, if they don't learn it at school they're going to learn it on the street.
On a side note, would you trust the decision of a man who uses the word "dialogue" as a verb?
Centinel 7:39 AM #