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Location: Central Florida, Florida, United States

Paramedic EMT-II (Ret.), Computer software designer, Building contractor, Cruising sailor, Humorist. . . obviously unable to hold a job.

Friday, August 05, 2005

Bad Boys

There is, I am reliably informed, a dangerous and subversive organization that is targeting our kids and leading them down a twisted trail of antisocial behavior. This organization not only requires the wearing of paramilitary uniforms, it supports the carrying of weapons, and the learning of skills that could be used in ways that could endanger others. They require that all members swear an oath of obedience and often gather in small groups in remote areas away from the scrutiny of others.

This national disgrace, this pox upon our land, this scourge of our youth is known as the Boy Scouts.

Before you dismiss this warning as little to do about nothing, consider the sad tale of Eagle Scout Brian Agnew, and how his involvement in this nefarious gang has affected his life.

Agnew, a junior in a Savannah Georgia High School, as a result of his involvement with this clear and present danger to our society, has recently been suspended from school for ten days and will finish out this school year in an alternative school for his unacceptable behavior. The school board in its wisdom has acted swiftly to prevent contamination of other students and, I am sure, has saved lives in the process.

To understand fully the situation, we must first examine the misspent life of young Mr. Agnew. While his parents insist that he is a good child, and has never been in trouble of any kind, we have the following facts to go on. First, he is an honor student, scored a 1000 on his SAT test in the seventh grade, and is taking three advanced placement courses in school. A member of the National Honor society, he also is a member of the school band, and possibly worst of all, belongs to a Christian youth group. How all of these warning signs could have been missed by his parents is difficult to fathom.

The culmination of these misdeeds is his attachment to the Boy Scouts, where he is a senior patrol leader for Boy Scout troop 26 and has recently completed his Eagle Scout project.

Luckily for society, this dangerous hombre has been stopped cold in his tracks by his high school principal. Acting on an anonymous tip, he confronted Mr. Agnew with the accusation that his car contained weapons. A search of his vehicle produced the following items -- all forbidden by school policy. A pocketknife, dangerously placed in the glove compartment of his locked car, a broken ax handle and blade locked in the trunk, and a cell phone. All of these items were provided to him by his father, a man who obviously does not understand how dangerous these weapons could be in the wrong hands.

While the school admits Mr. Agnew has never been in trouble before, they are taking no chances. He is being shipped off to an alternative school for troublemakers. He will miss the spring band concert, the National Honors Society Banquet, the Honors Night ceremony, the junior prom and two advanced placement exams, according to his father.

While young Mr. Agnew and his father insist that these illegal items are tools used solely for his scouting activities, the principal insists that the zero tolerance policy may not be violated. Rules are rules. In fact, students are provided with a fifty page manual of rules on the first day of school.

It is illegal, for instance, for a student to bring a steak knife to school to cut up his lunch. Any object that could be used as a weapon, or in a threatening manner, is prohibited. Cell phones are considered nuisance items. While all of these items were locked securely away in the boy's car, the potential for their use is understandably frightening.

Fortunately the school intervened before mayhem could result. Young Mr. Agnew is where he belongs, sequestered among other incorrigible youth where he can do no harm. This incident will no doubt go on his permanent record, and haunt him throughout his life.

While some may decry the schools actions as being over the top, I disagree. We need more security, not less. All sharp objects should be removed from schools immediately. Pens, pencils, and worst of all, those compasses we used in my youth to draw circles (now there's a weapon!). Paper cuts can be nasty, so all paper should be banned. I would suggest the use of Etch-a-Sketch's for all schoolwork, but I suppose, if thrown violently, they too are a potential weapon.

Making our schools safe is a national priority. As a child, I can remember the school only allowed us to use blunt scissors. It was a matter of safety. Today, the biggest danger is apparently a sharp mind.

But don't worry, the schools are doing their best to blunt those too.


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