Disqualified from Science Fair for Experiment Using Airsoft Gun

Hi Readers —  Here’s an example of our “Do something — anything!” school safety culture at work. Personally, I’d never heard of airsoft guns.  When I Googled them, they looked totally scary and far too realistic for my tastes. BUT they are neither lethal nor, where this family lives, illegal. And, as you’ll read, none of the airsoft OR real guns mentioned here were going to be on school premises. But somehow, banning the experiments they were used in makes our middle school students safer. – L. 
Dear Free-Range Kids:As a result of Sandy Hook, my 7th grader and 3 of his friends got disqualified from the school’s science fair because he and his partner used an airsoft gun and the other two used a real gun. Luckily, my child had no real interest in winning the science fair and going on to regionals and the disqualification did not affect his grade, but still…. IT WAS AN AIRSOFT GUN and a study on the pellet weight vs. backspin. We found out that he would not be qualified to be a competitor the Monday before judging on Thursday, and his project and the other were relegated to a separate area of the fair… the reject area, I suppose. He actually scored 102 on his project… had he not gotten the disqualification, he would have gone to regionals. Hows that for a knee jerk reaction????
As for the other kids’ project, I am not sure what the thesis of it was.  I believe they used a shotgun and shot through several different materials to see how they were penetrated.
In neither case was an actual airsoft gun or real gun included in the presentation.  I do not know if this was a school call or a state decision.  All I know is that these kids worked for half the school year on these projects and I was shocked when my son came home and said, “Oh, by the way mom, my project got disqualified.”  When I pelted him with questions…  well, he is a 13-year-old boy.  I got a bunch of  “I dunno”s.  Once I knew that it did nothing to his grade I didn’t pursue it further.
I really have the utmost respect for the administration of my childrens’ school.  I know that it is the crazy hypersensitive world that we live in today that makes decisions like this one happen.  If they had better options in the face of the tragedy at Newtown, I wholeheartedly believe they would have chosen those.  And I don’t really know if our administration or the state that made the final decision.  All I know is that it was the decision that was made. I think that sometimes administration is forced to do things that look like solutions in order to make people who have been all jazzed up by the media feel better.  Better they do something that accomplishes nothing than nothing at all.  – Mom of a Boy Not Going to Regionals
Ready, aim…sheesh.


57 Responses to Disqualified from Science Fair for Experiment Using Airsoft Gun

  1. C. S. P. Schofield April 24, 2013 at 10:10 am #

    Fred Reed has written several acid columns on the effect of pissy, passive-agressive feminization of the schools. The constant “Any child who gives any indication of being anything but horrified at the idea of a firearm must be punished” nonsense I read about doesn’t do a damn thing to persuade me that he’s wrong.

  2. pentamom April 24, 2013 at 10:21 am #

    Okay, I thought understanding things scientifically was good. Even if you want guns to disappear from the face of the earth, wouldn’t understanding how they affect things they are shot at actually be a plus for your argument? “We must pretend these things don’t exist so everyone is ignorant about them and the danger attributed to them is a matter of magic, rather than understanding” — isn’t that considered a BAD approach to anything else in this world?

  3. pentamom April 24, 2013 at 10:22 am #

    And BTW, Airsoft is pretty much the modern answer to “Ralphie wants a BB gun.” Not that they’ve replaced BB’s entirely, but they’re what kids want today for basically the same reasons.

  4. Manny April 24, 2013 at 10:31 am #

    I was a science fair judge in my local diocesan science fair last year (7th and 8th grade) and one girl’s experiment was to see how far 45 ACP bullets would penetrate through different types of wood. She even had some pictures of herself firing the handgun. I thought it was great. This year’s science fair, held just in the past few weeks, included a CSI type project on the shape of blood splatter (from another young lady). I was happy to see such projects were not dissuaded by their teachers.

  5. Merrick April 24, 2013 at 10:41 am #

    My older kids have both done rocketry projects…. not exactly the same but it never occurred to me to be afraid that they would be disqualified for their “dangerous” projects.

    What nonsense.

  6. JM April 24, 2013 at 10:42 am #

    C. S. P. Schofield, check your sexism at the door. “Feminization” has nothing to do with this discussion.

  7. Michelle April 24, 2013 at 10:47 am #

    And people wonder why kids are coming out of school hating it and unable to think critically. Let’s destroy a love of science and experimentation for absolutely no reason at all!

  8. Lee Baldwin April 24, 2013 at 11:00 am #

    Um, my son has had an Airsoft gun since he was three (i’m not as brave as my dad, who had me shooting real guns at 3, but i digress). Of course he was supervised & taught proper gun safety first. He’s quite a stickler for rules. he was given a BB gun for his 8th birthday. He will be 13 this year & we are debating getting him a .22 of his own. We live in a rural area, & have a properly set up shooting range for practice. Obviously, as a female who has been handling guns since i was 3, i don’t have a lot of fears about guns.
    i was pleased & amused when, one morning, my son heard a ruckus among his free-range chickens and grabbed his BB gun and ran out to see what was going on. He’s had foxes steal chickens before. There was no fox, but there was an empowered young farmer… around here, guns are a tool, not a toy.

  9. Kristi April 24, 2013 at 11:01 am #

    The physics of firearms and electro-chemical technology in advanced weaponry are some of the best real world STEM applications on the planet. Modern advances in computers, communications, engineering and robotics all have their bases in the weaponiziation of science.

  10. marie April 24, 2013 at 11:03 am #

    Airsoft guns are a ton of fun, Lenore. Ask your son…I’m sure he knows about them and has tried them elsewhere.

    Kids need to know about guns. Do you really want them to encounter a gun at a friend’s house and not know how to handle it? “Never touch a gun” and “tell an adult” is not always useful advice. I can think of all kinds of scenarios where a child knowledgeable about guns could save the day. A toddler picks up a gun–how to take the gun away without firing it; correcting a friend who aims it carelessly, etc.

    I would rather my kids have a healthy respect for guns than an unreasoning fear of them. The unreasoning fear is mostly what we see in schools.

  11. heidi April 24, 2013 at 11:20 am #

    C. S. P. Schofield –

    Oh, I see… any thing “feminine” is deemed terrible and unworthy, thus, since this is terrible and unworthy, it’s OBVIOUSLY feminine.

    I can’t even read any other comments from you. Get out.

  12. Krista April 24, 2013 at 11:28 am #

    CSP: What the what? I’m a woman that shoots guns and I’m horrified by this zero-tolerance bull. Thanks for smearing my gender.

    Also, all children should be taught how to handle guns. My cousin on my husband’s side was raised without any guns, not even in play. Nope, no finger guns for him! Once he turned 18, though, his parents knew they couldn’t deny him that anymore. On a family reunion a lot of us (uncle, his kids, me and my husband and our baby, and this cousin) were shooting in a field infested with ground squirrels. A little pest control, if you will.

    This cousin had no idea how to handle a gun. He was constantly point his barrel willy-nilly, often at others. He didn’t even know how to check for the safety. It got to the point that we banned him from holding a gun because he was so irresponsible with it.

    So, yeah, learn how to handle guns. The end.

  13. SKL April 24, 2013 at 11:54 am #

    Sigh. I really don’t understand this but I feel like a broken record. When I was a kid, everyone was comfortable with the reality that kids and guns exist in the same world. In those days little kids were protected from info on, e.g., alternative sexual behaviors. Now it’s the exact opposite. I am not sure what they think they are going to accomplish by banning all references to guns in school.

    Reminds me of when my daughter was 3 and a teacher punished her sister. She was never one to “make a noise,” but she sullenly muttered, “you know, my grandpa has a gun.” LOL. My dad is still laughing about that. Bunch of psychopaths we are!

  14. Erik M. April 24, 2013 at 11:57 am #

    To a free-range hammer everything looks like a nail. Kids not being allowed to go places by themselves, or stay at the park alone, or have recess… these things have a real cost, and the safety benefit is imaginary. I’m with you on almost all these stories.

    But not every single thing fits this pattern. The social and individual cost of someone’s science project being displayed in a different area is trivial. Complaining your kid’s project didn’t advance to regionals, for whatever reason, sounds kind of entitled and helicopter-y to me. And the benefit of norms against the casual use of guns is real.

  15. Warren April 24, 2013 at 12:14 pm #

    This is not about a whining parent. This is about a students work being disqualified, on the basis that weapons were part of the subject. According to the poster, with the students score he would have advanced. But was denied on the subject of his work. If that is not free range then what is.
    Just because you have a dislike for guns, and agree with knee jerk zero tolerance rules, does not make it right.

    Just how in the world was this casual use of guns, by the way?
    Casual use is a bunch of Bubba’s on the porch drinking and shooting thier empty beer cans.
    These kids ran controlled experiments.

  16. Jenny Islander April 24, 2013 at 12:15 pm #

    Hey, SKL: Little kids don’t need to be protected from info on alternative sexual behaviors, assuming that that’s code for “keep them ignorant and they won’t be queer.” They are perfectly capable of getting crushes on other little kids of their own gender even if their parents try to keep them “innocent” by keeping them ignorant. Now, if you mean kink, I suggest turning off cable and keeping all Web-capable computers in the common area of the house.

    Back on topic: I clearly remember the day my grade school classmate brought his air gun to school. The teachers took it away on the grounds that it was so interesting that it would distract the class from schoolwork. He got it back at the end of the day. The end.

    @Erik M: “Norms against the casual use of guns” is not the issue. People who think of guns as just another tool around the house, like a chainsaw, don’t use them casually. The fetishization of guns is the issue. There are people who take their rifles to the range to try to hit the target on the tree, and there are people who take their semiautomatics to the range to shoot the trees apart while yelling slogans from their favorite action flicks. These are not the same groups.

  17. Puzzled April 24, 2013 at 12:18 pm #

    I’m a big 2nd amendment booster, and I personally detest airsoft. Why? For one thing, the sport of airsoft has kids running around fields, with realistic looking toys, pointing them at each other, and pulling the trigger. It desensitives the act, and is the opposite of learning to be safe and responsible around guns. For another, it’s a fetishization of guns. I regard guns as tools for self-defense, hunting, and so on – the airsoft culture of fetisization of the most deadly weapons horrifies me. Even if you are doing something for which you need an AK47, the cosmetic focus of the airsoft crowd is just as silly as the cosmetic focus of the Feinstein crowd – but worse in that it actively promotes less responsible gun culture.

    That said, I think this disqualification is ridiculous.

  18. Warren April 24, 2013 at 1:22 pm #


    I hate to burst your bubble, but it doesn’t matter to a child playing with thier friends if the toygun is an exact replica of a .357 Smith and Wesson or a hunk of wood shaped roughly like a gun. To the kids playing it is all play. It does not desensitize them at all. They are playing. Now if they had fake blood packs, fake surgeons, and mock funerals, and were laughing through it all, then maybe you would have an arguement.
    Kids have been shooting each other with capguns, toy winchesters, toy machine guns, lasers, nerf, water, and so on for decades. If they didn’t have a toy gun, they used hockey sticks, or branches. It is play, and nothing but play. Just because your sensitivity to the look of the toy is offended, does not make it harmful to the kids themselves. To them it is a toy, to you it is a substitute gun. Sorry but that is your burden to bear, not the kids. You don’t like seeing it, turn around and look the other way.

    Have we not learned anything from past generations of parents and childhood. That as parents we have to sometimes set aside our own personal beliefs/sensitivities, because adults look at things differently than kids. And I can tell you this from experience. I had numerous toy and imaginary guns as a kid, and not once in my life did I come home, sit there and think ” I cannot wait unitl I can have a real one and kill a whole bunch of people.” Remember, the kids we shot while playing were our FRIENDS, and if you watch kids today, when a pretend shot kid falls down, and skins a knee, or hurts themselves, play is usually suspended, untill the actual status of the player is determined.
    Stop underestimating kids.

  19. Suzanne April 24, 2013 at 1:30 pm #

    I’m not sure feelings on gun control come into this. The fact is that the student was using a legal item in a safe way, with the full knowledge of his parents. Unless the rules of the science fair clearly stated at the beginning that no firearms were to be used, this seems a little late in the game. Many popular media examples of science (I’m thinking about shows like Mythbusters here) frequently include ballistic testing of one kind or another. If that’s what gets kids interested in science and providing they did the tests in a safe manner and with the knowledge of their parents, then they should be allow to compete. Ultimately the goal of science fairs should be to get kids interested and excited about science. The best way to do that is to tie science in with other things that interest them.

  20. CWH April 24, 2013 at 1:38 pm #

    At my daughter’s school they have to get their ideas approved beforehand, so she wouldn’t have made it to the point of disqualification. But I do know her ideas have been repeatedly shot down for, IMO, ridiculous reasons. One idea she had, she wanted to test to see which type of food her pet gerbils preferred. There would’ve been no maltreatment whatsoever – she would’ve simply placed 2 bowls in their cage containing 2 types of food and monitored the rates of depletion. But the idea was not permitted because anything whatsoever involving animals was a no-no.

    She’s had numerous other ideas shot down, unfortunately I can’t recall any other examples at the moment.

  21. SKL April 24, 2013 at 1:46 pm #

    Jenny Islander, your assumption is wrong. I’m talking about things that can easily wait until later. My kids are in the 1st grade and it will be a long, long time before they need to know how creative people can be with their sex organs. (Whether they are gay or not.) Guns, on the other hand, are present in much of the world’s great children’s lit and anything to do with history. They also happen to be quite visible anytime you’re around a police officer or the like. The idea of censoring gun references in school is insane. I just brought up the sex thing because the very same people who seem to think our kids are “ready for” sex education in KG have suddenly taken the extreme opposite stance when it comes to guns. It just boggles my mind because normally, you expect the same brain to process things the same way.

  22. Donna April 24, 2013 at 1:51 pm #

    Did the science fair rules specify that no guns or projectiles were allowed? Based on what I’ve seen in school science fair rules, there is a high likelihood that a rule against this project was in place BEFORE the project existed. If so, I don’t have any sympathy for the boy. And neither he nor his parents seem to care about this anyway so why should I care?

    As for guns in science fair projects, personally I don’t want 13 year olds at science fairs with guns, but as long as they have enough sense to realize that the actual gun can’t be part of the display it seems like a dumb rule. That said I do know several parents with the common sense of turnips who would allow the gun to be part of the display so I’m not sure a rule wasn’t put in place to protect the world against idiots.

  23. Ann April 24, 2013 at 1:52 pm #

    I remember doing physics problems about the speed of bullets, trajectory of bullets, etc. Isn’t that still part of any physics text book? If so, this sounds like a perfectly reasonable and educational science project. It is just mean to not allow them to proceed in the contest.

  24. Jenny Islander April 24, 2013 at 2:50 pm #

    Sex ed in Kindergarten? Seriously?

    We got the “babies come from inside mommies, and salmon come out of eggs” talk and the “the sperm comes from the boy fish and the egg comes from the girl fish” talk and that was it until just before puberty. What else do kids that young even need to know? We only got that much because kids ask questions and most of them had either younger siblings or fishing poles.

  25. Brian April 24, 2013 at 2:52 pm #

    Warren–my opinion on toy guns changed from a conversation I had with a Green Beret who served in Korea and Vietnam. He was a gun owner and proud military lifer.

    He taught me that you should never point any gun, toy or otherwise at anything you do not intend to shoot. Pointing a gun at someone or something if you are not committed to actually shoot it can only create problems.

    These toys are actually illegal in NYC which prevents wrongful death shootings and other problems with the enforcement of law against real guns.

  26. Warren April 24, 2013 at 2:55 pm #

    Okay so no reference to guns, bullets or weapons in science.
    What about history? Are they going to teach the adults of tomorrow that no guns were used during the Civil War, either World War, Korea, Vietnam, and so on?

    “No little (insert name), the Allied forces didn’t kill any Axis soldiers. They talked them into surrender. Oh and that whole use of weapons of mass destruction, used against Japan? That is all just urban myth, like bigfoot, and the lunar landing.”

    And god forbid that students actually learn that alot of the technology we enjoy today came as a direct result of the military industrial complex’s research and developement.

    Guns and weapons are going to be the taboo subject of this century, just like sex was in the past. And look how good that turned out.

  27. Warren April 24, 2013 at 3:03 pm #

    You cannot compare the view of a Green Beret, to that of a child playing with a toygun. That is like comparing a paper airplane enthusiast to a fighter pilot.

    Kids do not see toy guns as guns. THEY SEE THEM AS TOYS. Only over sensitive control freak adults see them as guns.

    My uncle served with the Canadian Forces in the Queen’s Own Rifle, the special forces, of Canada, back in the day. Told many stories of his time in Korea, Africa, and Vietnam. Also of kicking Green Beret’s butts in training. He used to argue with the tree huggers in the family who forbid toyguns. A logical arguement, in that where are we going to get the soldiers of the future if kids are not allowed to find thier path. Let the kids be kids, and stop the telling them that everything they want to do is wrong, immoral or bad.

  28. Yan Seiner April 24, 2013 at 3:49 pm #

    Oh boy…. Once again this devolves into a debate about guns. Kids can and do differentiate between Airsoft guns, BB guns, and real guns, assuming they’ve been taught the difference. My son and his friends have “airsoft wars” where they get dressed up in sweats, hats, and safety glasses, divide up into teams and shoot each other happily.

    I’ve seen the same kids on the range with real guns, and they’re more careful about following the safety rules than the adults. There is no horseplay with real guns.

    Back to the OP: disqualifying a project because it studied a projectile is absurd. I’d like to know how they measured backspin, and how they controlled for variables other than weight. It’s a real engineering problem with real life applications.

    The Air Force has the Rooster Booster, a cannon which fires chickens into airplanes at 600 MPH to study the effect of bird strikes. This child’s study can have real world applications. Banning it is just ridiculous.

    (No, the chickens are not live. They are rejects from chicken processing plants.)

  29. Rebecca Menes April 24, 2013 at 3:58 pm #

    I don’t like changing the rules on a kid AFTER they have finished the assignment. It isn’t fair, and it teaches a bad lesson. It teaches kids not to stick their necks out, not to try something new or different.

    If you don’t like gun based projects, put that in the rules for NEXT year.

  30. marco m April 24, 2013 at 4:03 pm #

    I think a fair approach would have been to focus on the concept the kids was trying to demonstrate (top spin in relation to weight) and ask the question: Could this be demonstrated using something else? if so, I would have encourage the student to use that. Of course if the student insists on using a gun (Airsoft or any other kind) then the question is if the student is using the science project as an excuse to get to use a gun? If so, then there are bigger issues here. However, as it relates to science, any good science teacher should have discussed the many different ways in which topspin vs weight could be demonstrated, Tennis anyone?

  31. Yan Seiner April 24, 2013 at 4:42 pm #

    I have to say this – an Airsoft gun is a not a weapon in any real sense of the word, any more than a butterknife is a weapon. Probably less. You could maybe kill someone with a butterknife, but not with an airsoft gun.

    It fires very light plastic pellets at somewhere around 200 – 500 feet per second. It’s safer than a BB gun. The pellets weigh about .2 grams, and even at point blank range sting but will not penetrate skin.

    The pellets, at least the higher quality ones, are extremely uniform and cheap, both a necessity for science fairs.

  32. Warren April 24, 2013 at 4:44 pm #


    No the teacher should have praised him for a great project, and left thier opinions on firearms, out of it all together.

    You are not going to get a tennis ball to reach anything near the velocity of a bullet.

  33. Sky April 24, 2013 at 4:58 pm #

    I remember when I launched bottle rockets on the school football field after school (off season, of course) for my 8th grade science fair project. Would that still be allowed today? Our local high school (which is in a middle-class subrub of a major metropolitain are) still has a rifle team, so it’s hard for me to imagine being disqualified from the science fair for this.

  34. Captain America April 24, 2013 at 4:59 pm #

    I’ve never been a big firearms fan. My shield can only handle so much flak.

    But physics can be damn boring, so guns and bullets may be the spice it takes to get boys interested in doing the math and pushing the pencil.

    I’ve got a really wonderful book on the physics of tennis, and I have to say it really brings physics alive for me: old tennis player here.

  35. Arianne April 24, 2013 at 9:01 pm #

    Speaking of science fair projects gone bad: http://www.9news.com/news/article/332375/129/Teen-arrested-expelled-for-science-project-gone-bad

  36. maggie April 24, 2013 at 9:31 pm #

    This is detestable. Velocity, penetration, drop…. What do they think NASA scientists study to get a rocket in space? And with all the CSI style TV shows, they should understand that the study of ballistics is an important, useful science.

    No wonder the US is lagging further and further behind in science.

  37. AW13 April 24, 2013 at 11:57 pm #

    It seems to me that this is a case of a school overreacting to something with the word “gun”, considering that there was no gun on the premises for the presentation. And I would assume that, if the kids had been working on these projects for 4-5 months, the teachers would have had an idea of what the experiment was from the start. (We always had to get our science fair topics ok’d by the science teacher; I always insisted on approving my students’ research topics before they began work). If this assumption is correct, then the teachers obviously didn’t see a problem with this – and why should they? As several other people have pointed out, this is a worthy experiment for a 7th grader. So who made the final call to disqualify these kids from regionals?

  38. oncefallendotcom April 25, 2013 at 1:29 am #

    How old must these teachers be? Compressed gas pellet guns were around when I was a kid.

  39. anonymous this time April 25, 2013 at 2:50 am #

    While I personally detest airsoft for a lot of the same reasons “Puzzled” does (believe me, 12-year-old boys let loose with those things without proper supervision, eye protection, and safety training can do plenty of harm to themselves and others, even if they are not BB guns), I cannot fathom why it serves learning, community, or inspiration to shut these kids down and tell them their science is “less than” just because they did something legal that doesn’t float the boat of the admin.

  40. suzyq April 25, 2013 at 6:31 am #

    Seems the bigger problem is that the school did not approve the project ahead of time. My kids’ science teachers have had to approve projects…not only does this ensure a wide range of projects, but also prevents *ahem* questionable projects from even getting off the ground. For some students, they might be fortunate enough to get their project approved right away. For others it might take 2-3 months while they work through the “someone else took that idea already” or “I think you are capable of more than that” phase.

    As as a teacher, the project shouldn’t have been allowed to begin with – if something is not allowed to be in the school to begin with (i.e., guns), a project requiring the use of them is going to give you grief. Either that, or I would have dumped that decision on my administrator.

  41. Yan Seiner April 25, 2013 at 8:48 am #

    @anonymous this time: I have to comment on the “12-year-old boys let loose with those things without proper … safety training” comment. That they don’t have proper training is not their fault; it’s the fault of their parents.

    12 year olds can be responsible. My son, 12, has been asked to be a junior rifle skills instructor. Real rifles. Supervising adults on the line with real rifles. Teaching adults safety rules.

    Why? Because he has demonstrated the skills, maturity, and responsibility to do so, in the judgement of other qualified instructors (not me). So kids can be responsible, mature, and stable. More so than adults at times. (Is it hard? No, not really. There are only 3 rules you have to follow.)

    What makes kids irresponsible is irresponsible or hyper-controlling adults, who never let their kids learn responsibility.

  42. Yan Seiner April 25, 2013 at 8:59 am #

    I should add that my son is not particularly exceptional. There is a 16 year old girl (young woman?) who is certified as a shoot boss, meaning she runs the whole show, including supervising other (older) instructors, and has full responsibility for safety and the authority to eject people who do not comply. There are still organizations that reward skills and maturity without being overly hung up on minimum ages. You just have to work harder to find them.

  43. Warren April 25, 2013 at 9:10 am #

    Wow, I am so freaking glad to have grown up in Ontario, and be raising my kids here.

    Get pre approved? Follow the rules? Rejected? So many of your schools sound like prison, it isn’t funny. Up here, they give you the submission date for the project, and you are on your own.

    I cannot fathom having to ask permission to pursue a certain topic for a project. That is politcal correctness on steroids.

    Listen to yourselves…….ask permission, list of rules, list of approved topics…………are you still burning books not on the approved list as well?

    When you look at how you have allowed the schools to take over like that, you have no one to blame but yourselves, for the current problems.

    “Land of the free”?, not even close. Not even close.

  44. Captain America April 25, 2013 at 10:17 am #

    Heck, I’ll jangle the tree. The term “feminization” is a legitimate one, and it’s one brought on by sociologists. The notion comes from psychology, which has studied, continues to study, sex differences, and finds, to no one’s real amazement—but to perhaps occasional political consternation—that women are more socially concerned and protective than men. Stick around any Little League game on a Saturday and you’ll find plenty of evidences of this. The notion connects to our vast human experience of maternal protectiveness.

    If you’re female and unconcerned about others around you, you may be atypical, that’s all.

  45. Warren April 25, 2013 at 10:28 am #


    From a witness point of view, women/mothers by far make up the majority of the overprotective/helicopter parenst. By far they are also the one’s that will pick up the phone and call the authorities, on a free range parent. That is not to say all women are like that, but there is enough to make conclusions and determine patterns.

    And before the women in here start tying the noose, and looking for a tall oak to hang the men from…………..

    Humans are not the only animals that show this trait. If this wasn’t the way things are, then we would never have heard of maternal instinct. It is not a slam against women, it is just how things are. Human nature is what it is.

  46. heidi April 25, 2013 at 12:17 pm #

    “The term “feminization” is a legitimate one, and it’s one brought on by sociologists.”

    [citation needed]

    Or is it just that you’re stuck in this 1950s mindset that all women behave in a particular manner?

  47. Krista April 25, 2013 at 12:46 pm #

    How does “being more concerned about others” translate into, well, what happened here? I mean, what about this article points specifically to feminization?


  48. AW13 April 25, 2013 at 5:44 pm #

    @Warren: Whoa, back up a sec. I “pre-approved” my students’ topics because I taught Latin and required them to have a minimum of three primary resources. Therefore, I needed to be sure that they would be able to find three primary sources. I also frequently had to help students narrow down a topic so that it was actually possible for them to complete the research to my standards without becoming completely overwhelmed. “Pre-approval” wasn’t about restricting students in terms of brainstorming topics per se – I never prevented a student from researching something just because I didn’t like it, nor did I have a list of “forbidden topics” . It was about guiding them to a project that they could complete successfully at the level of research that I was requiring of them, not limiting their freedom to choose a topic.

  49. Puzzled April 25, 2013 at 6:28 pm #

    Warren – what exactly is the difference between ‘turn around and look away’ and my own position, which is that I personally detest the things but would oppose any effort to regulate or ban them?

  50. Warren April 25, 2013 at 11:04 pm #


    Did I specifically say, your latin course? No, we are looking at science fair projects that are being restricted, based on topic. I hate to tell you, it isn’t all about you, not everyword said about education has to do with your latin class. Talk about ego, wow.

    CWH talked about how her kids have to get pre-approval, and are shot down. And then there was suzyq’s comments on pre-approval.

    So my statements earlier stand, with the exception of AW and latin projects. Sooooooooooooo sorrrrrrrrrrrry for your misunderstanding. Would have thought a teacher could tell the difference between science and latin.

  51. AW13 April 26, 2013 at 12:05 am #

    Actually, Warren, in my first comment, which you appear not to have seen, I made reference to both science projects and the ones I personally assigned. I assume you didn’t see it – you referenced both CWH and suzyq’s comments about pre-approval, but not mine, which gives my second comment a context.

    Since you seemed unclear on why anyone would possibly assign a project and want to pre-approve it, I gave you an example in a second comment. The reasons I gave hold true for science as well as Latin: to make sure that kids can find enough information on it, to make sure that their topic is not too broad in scope.

    “Get pre approved? Follow the rules? Rejected? So many of your schools sound like prison, it isn’t funny. Up here, they give you the submission date for the project, and you are on your own.
    I cannot fathom having to ask permission to pursue a certain topic for a project. That is politcal correctness on steroids.
    Listen to yourselves…….ask permission, list of rules, list of approved topics…………are you still burning books not on the approved list as well?”

    In rereading your above comment, you seem to be railing about any project that requires pre-approval. I can assure you that I know the difference between science and Latin. Nor did I feel that the comment you made was “all about me”. Why are you being so insulting?

  52. Warren April 26, 2013 at 9:55 am #

    You response to my comments are so filled with control and ego, it isn’t funny.

    Not going to debate with you the fundamental issue here. Your comments have proven the control you attempt to keep over your students.

    I simply stated that here in Ontario this whole pre approval crap isn’t done. While it seems down in the states it is just another way of control the sheep that attend school down there. Pre approved projects, hair colour, dress, and so much more all to control the kids.

    When my kids were real young, we had the chance to move down to Tennesee. I am so glad we didn’t. All the crap I have read in here tells me it would have been a nightmare.

    You wonder why America is in the state it’s in? Because slowly but surely you have given over control and power, and now it is getting too late to turn back. No one to blame but yourselves.

  53. pentamom April 30, 2013 at 10:45 am #

    “While it seems down in the states it is just another way of control the sheep that attend school down there.”

    Or it could be a way of ensuring that the project is a worthwhile educational experience because it covers an appropriate topic area that is within the student’s reasonable ability to learn something from, as opposed to being a big waste of time because it’s a frivolous, irrelevant, or overly ambitious (for the student’s demonstrated ability) topic. As in, the teacher knows more about what constitutes an appropriate topic for the student at that age and grade level and demonstrated ability, than the student does, which is why there is a teacher in the first place.

    But if you just want to pigeon-hole it based on your bigoted attitude toward Americans and your paranoid view of why any teacher would take any directive responsibility for the content of what her students are doing, it’s no skin off my nose.

  54. airsoftgun May 22, 2013 at 10:15 am #

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  55. Daniel July 25, 2013 at 3:59 pm #

    Airsoft guns are not dangerous, despite they look. With proper handling they should not provoke accidents, so i do not understand why they have been banned by this school, especially as they were used just for experimenting.


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