School to Child: We Will Carry that Shovel For You

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Think of our proud founding fathers, the Minutemen who ran in from the fields to wage a revolution. These were ordinary people entrusted to win the freedom of an entire country, accustomed as they were to toiling, being tested, and rising to the occasion.

Here’s how we breed that out of our kids:

Dear Free-Range Kids: My son is doing a play or something tomorrow. Teacher asked for props, including a shovel. My son has this kids’ gardening shovel. I knew he’d never be allowed on the bus with it. So today, since he had a dentist appt, I just brought the shovel in myself when I dropped him off after dentist. They wouldn’t let him carry it up to his classroom “because it’s metal.” They had to hold it in the office for the teacher to come get it. He’s 7, with no priors, lol.

P.S. Here’s the shovel. — A mom in Avondale, PA .

Naturally, someone will point out that this might have been an insurance issue. And we will point out that when insurance clobbers the last bit of  gumption out of kids, the insurance agents win.

Not the revolutionaries. – L.

What child walks the earth that can carry that Lowe's $4.98 children's shovel up younder stairs?

Breathes there a second grade Paul Bunyan hearty enough to haul this Lowe’s $4.98 children’s shovel up yonder stairs?

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44 Responses to School to Child: We Will Carry that Shovel For You

  1. Rick June 9, 2016 at 9:05 am #

    When they stop letting you carry shovels it’s time to bring out the pitch forks.

  2. BL June 9, 2016 at 9:14 am #

    “They had to hold it in the office for the teacher to come get it.”

    So I suppose the teacher has a college degree in shovel-handling?

  3. Workshop June 9, 2016 at 9:31 am #

    This is the sort of thing that we parents need to call out and identify as “STOOPID!”

    We need to stand in the school office and tell them “Wait, you won’t let him carry a shovel? How’s he going to earn a living after he gets his high school diploma? Ditch-diggers need some sort of experience, too.” “How do you let him carry a backpack? That’s got straps that could be used to choke someone.” “Guess someone’s going to have to carry him around, because he’s got a metal plate in his head. It’s lots of fun at home when we use the remote to change the television to channel 3. He does this little seizure thing and wets himself.” “If you’re not smart enough to let him carry a shovel, I’m not confident enough you’re able to tie your own shoes.”

    What the heck do they do with kids who have braces? God forbid the sixteen year olds who drive a car. Do they confiscate the keys at the front door?

    Fight back.

  4. CrazyCatLady June 9, 2016 at 9:32 am #

    The ironic thing is that they will let the kids carry smart phones. Which are way more dangerous than the shovel, in the long term.

    My teen daughter told me about a kid at school who apparently has a gambling addiction and was gambling online during class (and was discovered when he wouldn’t turn off the computer when asked.) His parents, to avoid legal issues with the school for violating the school conduct code cracked down with no computer use unsupervised at home, no phone for 2 years and no drivers license until 18.

    Another friend has a son who is now on the Sex Offenders list at 15 because when he was 11 the school gave him an iPad. Which, as a high functioning autistic kid…he used to watch pornography at home. Which lead to him making a highly inappropriate comment to a little girl his mother was babysitting when he was 12. Maybe…if he stays out of trouble for the next few years, and his brain matures to the point of having the ability to control impulses…he might be removed from the Sex Offender list. As long as he doesn’t do something else stupid…like leave a knife in his book bag that he takes to school after going on a scouting camping trip.

    Yup…take the shovel away. Don’t even worry about the temptations that the “safe” technology with all of its parental and school blocking. That kids can find ways around.

  5. bob magee June 9, 2016 at 9:51 am #

    I wonder what they need the shovel for? Clearly no child will be able to handle the shovel, so how will it be used in a play or presentation?

  6. lollipoplover June 9, 2016 at 11:44 am #

    I bet their gardening club is made up of juvenile delinquent metalheads. These dirty kids and their shovels, spades, and hoes, dig in danger on a regular basis.
    The Green Thumb Gang. Save the kids from the shovels!!!

  7. pentamom June 9, 2016 at 11:45 am #

    Hmmm…interesting….what cohort has a higher rate of hurting people by misuse of shovels? Seven year olds, or people the age of the teacher?

    I don’t think the teacher should be allowed anywhere NEAR a weapon like that!

  8. Craig June 9, 2016 at 11:48 am #

    Everybody just needs to stop sending their kids to the prisons and brainwashing facilities that are called schools and home school them. That way they can be in a university, if they choose, to learn something useful like engineering or law, by the age of 13. School really is about mass producing stupid people. I consider myself well informed but was recently shocked at how bad school has become.

  9. TeacherJR June 9, 2016 at 11:57 am #

    If shovels are outlawed, only outlaws will have shovels!

    And we wonder why kids hate school. How insulting must it be to constantly be told, “You’re not capable; you always need to ask permission; you might go ape-sh*t and hurt someone with that.”

  10. John June 9, 2016 at 12:08 pm #

    I feel for the future generation when we don’t trust a 7-year-old kid even with a shovel!

  11. Emily June 9, 2016 at 12:44 pm #

    >>Everybody just needs to stop sending their kids to the prisons and brainwashing facilities that are called schools and home school them. That way they can be in a university, if they choose, to learn something useful like engineering or law, by the age of 13. School really is about mass producing stupid people. I consider myself well informed but was recently shocked at how bad school has become.<<

    Craig, I agree that some (okay, many) public schools are horrible, but "just stop sending kids there" isn't a realistic solution for everyone. Some people have to work, and can't homeschool their kids. Some people can't afford private schools, or private un-schools like Sudbury Valley School. Some people can afford private school or Sudbury Valley School, but live too far away from them to make it practical, and they can't homeschool their kids, because they work. My point is, I know you didn't mean it this way, but that mindset, when shared by enough people, leads to a collective idea that it's perfectly fine and dandy for kids from families below a certain income bracket to be sent to the "prisons and brainwashing facilities," but not for kids from more affluent families. Also, I'm pretty sure that bullying, unfair discipline policies, and bureaucratic stupidity exist at private schools as well as public schools.

  12. Greg June 9, 2016 at 1:13 pm #

    Creepy Marxist Feds OUT OF OUR SCHOOLS!

  13. lollipoplover June 9, 2016 at 1:26 pm #

    They wouldn’t let him carry it up to his classroom “because it’s metal.”

    What safety procedures do they have in place for staplers, scissors, hole punches, etc.? A metal locker door, slammed on a face or finger, is quite the weapon, too. Maybe we can replace them with foam. And use gluten-free glue instead of violent metal staples. Practice folding and tearing with paper instead of slicing metal on metal scissor cuts?
    Lots of metal to protect these precious babies from.

  14. Brooks June 9, 2016 at 1:30 pm #

    My son was studying the Civil War in his 8th grade AP history class last year. I happen to own a family heirloom – an original, mint condition Union sabre. So mint that it still has the original leather on the handle and zero corrosion. So I offered to bring it to the school and let the teacher show it to them and let them handle it.

    I was told there was no way that I could do that without being arrested – even if I prearranged to meet the SRO and hand it to him outside the school. EVEN if I handed it to the SRO. They could not seem to envision a way that it would not be construed as a threat even with all the precautions I offered.

  15. BL June 9, 2016 at 1:37 pm #

    @Brooks
    “They could not seem to envision a way that it would not be construed as a threat even with all the precautions I offered.”

    Mass saberings happen at schools all the time, don’t you know?

  16. lollipoplover June 9, 2016 at 1:39 pm #

    It could be worse. The could have a young bandit who goes around hugging dogs:

    http://news10.com/2016/06/09/boy-caught-on-camera-sneaking-into-neighbors-garage-to-hug-their-dog/

    (I love love love this story!)

  17. shdd June 9, 2016 at 2:46 pm #

    My daughter’s middle school just sent around a note asking for 6 parent chaperones needed for the “children” to feel safe. I think some of the 5’10 180 pound children (one of her friends is that size) can take care of themselves for two hours. I plan to go out, eat a nice meal, and then pick my daughter up from the dance and look at the photographs. I bought the dress, I raised my daughter to have fun in a responsible manner, and now I get a moment for me.

  18. Buffy June 9, 2016 at 3:19 pm #

    @shdd, what event is this and why are the kids feeling unsafe? Did someone tell them that they weren’t “safe” unless X? Who determined that 6 is the magic number, the scared kids? Inquiring minds want to know!!

  19. Jill June 9, 2016 at 3:53 pm #

    Are they worried that the children will use the shovel to dig an escape tunnel, as in Shawshank Redemption? “Because it’s metal” makes no sense. Using that logic pencils should be banned because they contain lead, which is very, very bad for children, causing brain damage. Maybe the person who decided that the shovel was verboten on the grounds that it was metal ate too many lead paint chips as a child.

  20. Diane June 9, 2016 at 4:06 pm #

    I don’t believe there is any lead in pencils, but the “no shovel” rule is asinine in any case.

  21. hineata June 9, 2016 at 6:20 pm #

    The only reason I can think of for this particular incident is if there is a child in this kid’s class who is actually dangerous…..in which case a shovel could do a lot of damage. I recently taught in a class where all scissors and projectiles (read staplers etc) were locked away, pencils had to be out of sight etc. This even with a teacher aide just for this one child.

    However I expect this was not the case here. If it was, then the child who brought the shovel would have known he couldn’t take it into the classroom. …kids pick up on the procedures necessary to get along with dangerous classmates faster generally than adults do.

  22. TeacherJR June 9, 2016 at 7:14 pm #

    @hineata –

    Something that’s always bothered me about education is the “dumbing down” to the lowest common denominator of child in the classroom. Because public education in the least restrictive environment (LRE) is a “right,” the environment has to be childproofed to the level of the least self-controlled kid in the room.

    We see it even in less extreme circumstances. High schools used to have marksmanship teams and practiced archery in PE. Art classes used to have exacto knives and rubber cement. Yet it takes just one craptastic kid to ruin it for everyone else. Instead of punishing the troublemaker and allowing the other kids to continue being responsible, everyone loses their privileges and gets treated like a potential criminal.

    It’s a behavior we would never tolerate in an adult-oriented space, like a workplace. Imagine if you had an erratic and possibly dangerous coworker, and instead of dealing appropriately with that employee, they took away your staplers and told people not to use metal forks at lunch. I would quit that job pretty quickly, but our students don’t have that same choice.

  23. Beth June 9, 2016 at 7:28 pm #

    “The only reason I can think of for this particular incident is if there is a child in this kid’s class who is actually dangerous…..in which case a shovel could do a lot of damage.”

    But, according to the post above, the teacher *asked* for a shovel!!!

  24. Ann in L.A. June 9, 2016 at 7:30 pm #

    My kid just started a summer counseling job at the K-8 school he graduated from on Tuesday. He’s 14, and this year, they aren’t allowing the kids in the graduating class off campus. In prior years, they could leave to get lunch or at the end of the camp. He will be taking the public bus home from his high school starting in mid-August, as many of the kids at his new school do, and we want him to spend the summer getting used to riding the bus.

    We’re going to have to have a word with his school/camp about his independence and his ability to get himself home after camp.

    Of course, three years ago, the kids had a ceremony of sorts to transfer from the K-5 to the 6-8 part of the school, and he had to give a speech on independence. His teacher didn’t like what he wrote and rewrote it for him. Yes, his speech on independence was dictated to him by the teacher.

  25. hineata June 9, 2016 at 7:45 pm #

    @TeacherJR – I agree with you. It frustrates the heck out of me, that everyone’s education is frustrated by the needs of that one child (or in this case, everyone is unsafe because of that one child). It also doesn’t really fill the needs of some of these more ‘high needs’ kids either. We have plenty of kids here who could do with special classes with a lot more one on one help, but no, they HAVE to be mainstreamed. Not that mainstreaming isn’t great a lot of the time -it is- but not for extreme high needs or actually dangerous individuals.

  26. Theresa June 9, 2016 at 9:05 pm #

    Oh no it’s a tool in a kid hands! Should we call the cops? It so silly how people act when kids get tools. They usually call the police to save them from the big bad tools.

  27. SteveS June 9, 2016 at 10:55 pm #

    I was told there was no way that I could do that without being arrested – even if I prearranged to meet the SRO and hand it to him outside the school. EVEN if I handed it to the SRO. They could not seem to envision a way that it would not be construed as a threat even with all the precautions I offered.

    That is too bad that they would choose to miss out on allowing a good learning experience because they were fearful. I have seen a few schools around me that have allowed teachers to display civil war era rifles as part of their lessons.

  28. James Pollock June 9, 2016 at 11:39 pm #

    “That is too bad that they would choose to miss out on allowing a good learning experience because they were fearful. I have seen a few schools around me that have allowed teachers to display civil war era rifles as part of their lessons.”

    Color guard participants have rifles AND sabers. (OK, the rifles are made of solid plastic and the sabers have no edge. But about as dangerous as a shovel.) Maybe nobody cares because the kids who are doing it are A) nearly all female, and B) in or associated with the marching band.

  29. Andrew Garland June 9, 2016 at 11:53 pm #

    Well, he might have chewed it into the shape of a gun.

  30. J.T. Wenting June 10, 2016 at 6:08 am #

    Now that’s what became of Obama’s shovel ready jobs, they were considered too dangerous for Americans and moved overseas…

  31. Art June 10, 2016 at 9:32 am #

    @shdd,

    It might actually be to protect the kids against “themselves.” ie: raging hormones. Depending on the number of total kids attending the dance, the ratio is usually 1 chaperone per 10-15 kids.

  32. lollipoplover June 10, 2016 at 9:44 am #

    @Art-
    Why? When I went to school, I had hormones too (as did my classmates) yet we only had teachers as chaperones. Like two teachers for our class of 300.

    When did we *evolve* to ratios of student:parent volunteer? This is so foreign to me (especially with middle school students). They need parents to *protect* the students…
    The parents are the ones who likely enabled and encouraged the bad behavior you are worried about!

  33. Art June 10, 2016 at 10:12 am #

    @LPL,

    As the schools I’ve played dances for (mobile DJ), and the ones that we’ve setup and run ourselves for MS students, this seems to be the standard. While the ratio does vary somewhat, generally there will be at least two chaperones per 50 kids.

    In this case, it was quite possible that the school actually needed chaperones, and help to run the concession stand and other functions.

  34. shdd June 10, 2016 at 11:05 am #

    The school has about 300 8th graders. Several teachers have already volunteered as chaperones and several parents have volunteered to give away the free water and snacks. This class has had very little dating and romance so far.

  35. Katie June 10, 2016 at 9:16 pm #

    I was doing the dreaded pre-school drop off one day when my son was 4. I gave him one of my mints during the ride after being badgered about it and he was still sucking on it when he got out of the car. The teacher helping him out of the car (because that’s a thing now) was horrified and made him stand on the sidewalk furiously sucking until it dissolved because she was afraid he would choke if he walked with it in his mouth into school. And I got a lecture.

  36. David June 11, 2016 at 11:37 am #

    @Katie, You could have told the teacher to shut up and mind her own business and that you will give you child any candy you want anytime you want.

  37. CK June 13, 2016 at 8:55 pm #

    My 10 year old daughter was told that she couldn’t bring her guitar on the bus for band practice.

    When I called the school to ask what the problem is – they told me “because she could have a weapon in it”.

    What. The. Fudge.

  38. elizabeth June 14, 2016 at 12:19 am #

    This article gets on my nerves. I got in trouble in grade school for biting a girl who pulled my pants down on the playground REPEATEDLY because “well she might have a disease”. Like what? Rabies? I dont know of any diseases that a HUMAN can pass through biting given that i didnt draw any blood. One of my brothers got in trouble in KINDEGARTEN for a CAP GUN. THE THING HAS A FREAKING ORANGE TIP. HOW IN THE WORLD IS A FIVE YEAR OLD GOING TO HURT SOMEONE WITH A TOY? AND HE DIDNT EVEN GET IT BACK! THEY DIDNT GIVE A FIVE YEAR OLD CHILD A TOY THEY TOOK FROM HIM!

  39. Warren June 14, 2016 at 1:08 am #

    Elizabeth

    Actually just for informative use human bites can be and usually are worse than most animal bites for bacteria and infections.

  40. elizabeth June 14, 2016 at 1:32 am #

    WARREN, I DIDNT HAVE A DISEASE. THAT’S MY WHOLE POINT, IS THAT IT WAS A LEGITIMATE REFLEX AND I WAS PERFECTLY HEALTHY AT THE TIME. ALSO, I WOULD LIKE TO POINT OUT THAT I GOT IN MORE TROUBLE FOR DEFENDING MYSELF IN A LESS-THAN-IDEAL WAY THAN SHE DID FOR BULLYING ME.

  41. Warren June 14, 2016 at 4:16 am #

    Elizabeth
    I didn’t say you had a disease. Human mouths are just naturally worse than most animals. Ask your doctor. It has nothing to do with disease.

  42. elizabeth June 14, 2016 at 12:40 pm #

    Warren, regardless, i still got in more trouble for what was merely a defensive reflex to bullying than the girl did for the bullying, which was wrong. Youre telling me that you never reacted in a less-than-ideal way to something like that as a kid (i.e. hair pulling, punching, etc.)? I doubt it.

  43. Warren June 14, 2016 at 1:47 pm #

    Elizabeth
    The whole “just for informative use ” went over your head didn’t it?

    I never said what you did was wrong. I was just clarifying that human bites are infection factories. You need to get over it.

  44. Ann June 20, 2016 at 3:33 pm #

    FYI: our High school – HIGH SCHOOL!! – will not allow kids to carry backpacks either. Clearly. because they could use it to conceal and carry. Or… they could use it to carry BOOKS. you know, the big heavy things that are so much easier to transport on your back, in a pack. 🙂

    Never mind the fact that they get 3 minutes between classes and I cannot even make it from the parking lot to the auditorium in that amount of time, much less to and from a locker between classes. Good times…