Saturday, February 6, 2010

Government Stupidity Alert

When I saw this story on the Wall Street Journal's Best of the Web, all I could think about is staging a contest between education bureaucrats are TSA bureaucrats to see which group should symbolize the inherent incompetence of the public sector:

Patrick Timoney, a fourth-grader at PS 52, South Beach, was nearly suspended after playing with LEGOs during his lunch period because one of the action figures was carrying at toy machine gun. He and his friends had planned a playdate with their respective toys, and were sitting around the cafeteria table when the principal walked in and saw the action figure carrying the fake gun. While the action figure was a standard LEGO policeman figure, the brand of the gun could not be determined. "She took him into her office in the middle of the lunch period and he was crying," said the boy's mother, Laura Timoney. "He was afraid." The principal called Ms. Timoney and said she considered the toy suspension-worthy, and that she was going to double-check with a security administrator from the city Department of Education. According to Ms. Timoney, the administrator said the toy should be confiscated and returned to the parents at the end of the day, and that no other action was necessary. ...She pointed out that another child had an action figure that was holding an ax, but that only Patrick was reprimanded.

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