So, this happened:

The drill is well known: A student brings a gun to school and suffers the consequences through detention, suspension, or expulsion. It’s the price children and teens in the public school system must pay for the violent actions of their peers in highly publicized massacres like Columbine.

But, what happens when the student is punished for yielding a weapon, when the only weapon he holds is his own hand mimicking a firearm? Such was the case for an 11-year-old in Calvert County, Md. who faced an all day in- school-suspension for shooting his fingers like a gun on a school bus last week.

“It seems illogical on its face,” says Kim Anderson, director of the center for advocacy at the National Education Association, which opposes zero-tolerance policies. “It seems like something is wrong when students make hand gestures and get punished this severely.”

Unfortunately, this case does not stand-alone. In fact, it’s only the most recent. There have been numerous incidents of students facing suspension for gun-related hand gesturing, for shaping PopTart into the shape of a gun and even for drawing a stick-figure to look like a gun.

The so called “zero-tolerance” laws administrators use as justification for these absurd penalties are zero intelligence laws, an nothing more. The insanity of political correctness has created a generation scared of its own shadow, where pointing a finger and saying “bang” is now a crime, instead of a normal part of childhood.

Bizarrely, many of the same people that freak out over pastry pistols, chocolate revolvers, and finger guns seem to have relatively little problem with children going how to immerse themselves for hours in ultra-violent video games and movies where the violence is far more graphic and realistic.

Kids are doing what simply comes natural. They are playing. The problem is the school administrators, and a generation of parents that allows this foolishness to continue.

When do we make it stop?

Update: we originally had the student as a first-grader. He’s actually a sixth-grader. As if that makes it any less absurd.