The photo at the left shows the "weapon": plastic pellets and a pen tube.
According to this article in the Washington Post:
Andrew Mikel II admits it was a stupid thing to do. In December, bored and craving attention, the 14-year-old used a plastic tube to blow small plastic pellets at fellow students in Spotsylvania High School. In one lunch period, he scored three hits.Clearly, this particular school has lost all perspective as to what comprises effective discipline. Furthermore, the family's appeal to the school board resulted in the school's decision of Andrew's suspension being upheld, thus likely resulting in the boy's indiscretion and punishment as a permanent part of his cumulative file. As stated at The Blaze:
"They flinched. They looked annoyed," Mikel said.
The school district saw it as more than a childish prank. School officials expelled him for possession and use of a weapon, and they called a deputy sheriff to the scene, said Mikel and his father, Andrew Mikel Sr.
The younger Mikel, a freshman, said he was charged with three counts of misdemeanor assault.
School officials in some e-mails referred to the plastic casing as a "metal tube." The plastic pellets were called "B-Bs."...
Mikel will be cleared of the misdemeanor criminal charges if he participates in a year-long diversion program...
...The school guidance department told Andrew that as a result of his tarnished record, he will no longer be considered as a viable candidate for the Naval Academy....Before we condemn the school and the school board too much, however, let us take note of the following from the above-cited article:
The federal Gun-Free Schools Act mandates that schools expel students who take weapons, including hand guns, explosive devices and projectile weapons, to school. E-mail traffic among school officials showed they ruled that Mikel's plastic tube, which was fashioned from a pen casing, met the definition of a projectile weapon because it was "used to intimidate, threaten or harm others."The bureaucratic nanny state! As the boy's father points out:
“It takes four state agencies to go after someone with a spitwad: It takes the sheriff’s department, the commonwealth attorney, the school board on various levels and the department of juvenile justice … what a fine use of taxpayer resources."Read more HERE at The Blaze.
One of the first topics covered in my teacher-education course "Discipline for the Secondary Teacher" emphasized the importance of not overreacting to any disciplinary infraction. In that valuable course, I learned one essential concept: both under-reaction and overreaction to infractions of discipline lead to any number of unintended consequences, all of which lead to ineffective classroom instruction. Therefore, we shouldn't be surprised that so many students today have lost respect for our education system.