Virginia school suspends an 11-year-old for one year over a leaf that wasn’t marijuana

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Uh huh - sure - not a pot leaf. Sounds like something those hippies up north want us to believe.

In seriousness though, as a kid I thought some giant ragweed might be weed.


Do these school districts like handing out taxpayer money from lawsuits or something?


I am sure the principal and superintendent are off drinking alcohol in a bar somewhere with their friends bragging about how they expelled a kid today. Must make them feel really special and powerful.


This child learned an important lesson. Those in power are more interested in punishment than any other factor - even when there is no reason for the punishment. That lesson will serve him well.


I really hope our children will undo the fupping bullshit we have implemented. It is just so easy to deal with this.

“Did you say that leaf was a drug?”
Answer doesn’t really matter
“Write me an essay on why you shouldnt lie or do drugs till at least college”


The D.A.R.E. program was right!

Marijuana is so dangerous that even possessing a leaf that LOOKS like the plant is enough to ruin your life!


I think we need to see a picture of the leaf in question before we decide if this punishment is fair or not.

BTW, why three tests? Couldn’t any male teacher with a pony tail (err, man bun?) Just smell it?


That’s because stringent anti-drug policies in school districts in
Virginia and elsewhere consider “imitation” drugs to be identical to
real ones for disciplinary purposes.

And apparently “imitation” authorities are just as heinous and corrosive as real ones for disciplinary purposes.


We are in some kind of competition to become literally the Stupidest People on Earth.


I have a feeling that in the coming months and years there will be a rash of discoveries of maple leaves by administrators in school kid’s backpacks after the situation was brought to their attention by other ‘concerned’ students.

I wonder if the adults involved really appreciate the true depths of their vile influence in creating the social environment they are manipulating these kids into participating in? It’s literally worse than the Nazis. Not in scope, but in ideological construction. The Nazis at least acknowledged the moral basis for what they were doing when encouraging denouncement and capitulation to incompetent, fascist authority.
These people would be shocked, shocked, that their actions could be seen as anything other than good and (probably) christian, conscientious and charitable.


Is there some new development? The source link is six months old.

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A bug, I think. @beschizza fixed the site too hard… :smile:


When I was a kid we had a neighbor who grew pot plants on his upper deck. Some older kids from my Boy Scout troop came over one day and were giggling because they recognized it.

They couldn’t get near it–the deck could only be reached by going through his house and he wasn’t home. Still I think that now they’d get in trouble just for recognizing it.


D.A.R.E. (Drugs Are Really Expensive). It’s a plot.


Japanese maple leaves are so beautiful! Especially in fall. Of course a child would want to bring one in to show people. They’re that lovely.


Yeah, I thought I saw this post before.

Back to the point of this zero tolerance policy; I recently heard an article on NPR about some scientists who are proposing that we increase the age of full criminal culpability to the mid-twenties because, as they have found, the prefrontal cortex - the part of the brain tasked with higher levels of thinking, especially about future consequences for present actions, isn’t developed until that age. While I’m not sure about that, I certainly believe that with anyone under the age of 18, the punishment for these kinds of behaviors (whether or not the kid joking) should be education, not suspension or expulsion or worse, arrest (as with the clock case). Too many kids make dumb jokes, or make bad decisions at that age - in fact, that’s the age when the brain is experimenting with bad decisions. I’m not saying every thing needs to be simply passed off and forgiven - there are certainly some things that should have serious consequences, like harming another person. But even in those cases the point should be to educate. not rush to incarcerate. Zero tolerance has the effect of making every stupid remark, ill-thought-out action and prank in to a criminal offense with the highest level of penalty. It’s antithetical to what a school should be doing. And what’s worse, the impact of these kinds of policies is much higher in black and latino populations, as studies have shown that for the same behavior minorities are much more likely to be suspended or expelled. I know I’m preaching to the choir here, but I feel like the existence of zero tolerance policies is so pervasive, and that so many parents have allowed them to be put in place because of this idea that we need to have the highest level of protection for our “good kids” at the expense of the bad ones, that we need to speak out more, change policies and remind every one that justice is not simply punishment.


What the ever-loving fuck is wrong with these school administrators? Have they nothing better to do? Can they really not tell a goddamn maple leaf from a pot leaf? How do they hand out punishment BEFORE knowing what the leaf actually was? An assumption is enough for a suspension?
It offends every fiber of my being that people this incompetent are allowed to occupy the same profession as me.
And while it’s been terrible for the kid (and the parents) and that the kid’s worried their life is over and college is a pipe dream, know this:
The suit your parents should be filling right now should help stave of student debt when you get to college.


Here’s a handy comparison pic:

You’d have to be intentionally and selectively punishing a kid to confuse the two. And have malfunctioning olfactories.