For those trying to work out why the following scenario came to pass:
Knowing how public schools actually operate, you can write the story before it even happens. “An 8-year-old pupil at Tom Davis Elementary School was arrested today, charged with harassment and expelled from school. The boy, who allegedly taunted a classmate as ‘gay,’ is accused of bullying on the basis of sexual orientation or perceived sexual orientation. ‘This is crazy,’ said the boy’s mother. ‘He’s too young to understand what “gay” means.’ ”
…it’s fairly simple: the bumbling, inane stupidity of Al Franken* is only matched by that of the progressive activists who thought that it would be a good idea to elevate Stuart Smalley to the US Senate.
Wurzer: As other parents listen to our conversation here, and maybe their child’s been the target of a bully–maybe the child’s not gay or lesbian. Could you, in the statute, say–why not just bullying is for any reason?
Franken: Well, uh, we, you know, it–it is illegal for so many reasons that–you know, race, religion, uh, national origin, disability, uh–I guess, I guess you can say that bullying–then it kind of depends on what you’re talking about. If, you know, I guess kids have a right not to bully, but to basically, you know, tease each other about the stupidest things, but certainly not about those things.
Listen to the whole thing: it proves conclusively, once and for all, that the most damning thing that you can say about someone in the English language is “He means well.”
*To explain: James Taranto and I both know how this story ends, because we’ve seen it happen with no-tolerance school policies. To put it very simply, school districts default to the hardest line possible when interpreting forbidden behaviors, because if they don’t they get sued to hell and gone. Which is why the search terms ‘child plastic knife expelled‘ gets 108K hits, and ‘child aspirin expelled‘ gets almost 91K. But sure, yeah, no doubt the public school system will be better able to handle kids taunting each other…