The Corner

Banning the G-Word

Charles C. W. Cooke brought to our attention last week the harrowing case of Josh Welsh, enemy of the state, who “was suspended from his school for two days for the high crime of biting a pop tart into the shape of a firearm.”

A few miles south of Josh, in Calvert County, Md., Bruce Henkelman says his eleven-year-old son was suspended last December for talking about guns on a school bus ride. That’s it — just talking. Not even a threatening pastry in sight:

Bruce Henkelman of Huntingtown says his son, a sixth grader at Northern Middle School in Owings, was talking with friends about the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre when the bus driver hauled him back to school to be questioned by the principal, Darrel Prioleau.

“The principal told me that with what happened at Sandy Hook if you say the word ‘gun’ in my school you are going to get suspended for 10 days,” Henkelman said in an interview with

So what did the boy say?  According to his father, he neither threatened nor bullied anyone.

“He said, I wish I had a gun to protect everyone. He wanted to defeat the bad guys. That’s the context of what he said,” Henkelman said. “He wanted to be the hero.”

The boy was questioned by the principal and a sheriff’s deputy, who also wanted to search the family home without a warrant, Henkelman said. “He started asking me questions about if I have firearms, and [the deputy said] he’s going to have to search my house.  Search my house?  I just wanted to know what happened.”

The overzealous response of school officials is an obvious problem here — but the response of the deputy sheriff is particularly alarming. Forget a close study of the Bill of Rights, has he never seen an episode of Law & Order?

Still, if Calvert County law enforcement cannot enforce gun control, it appears that now the Language Police can.


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