June 5, 2013

Charles Oliver: Apparently, Legos aren't toys

Charles Oliver

— * Officials at Old Mill Pond Elementary School in Massachusetts gave a 6-year-old boy one day of detention and forced him to apologize to a bus driver for bringing a toy gun on a school bus. The gun was a Lego toy about the size of a quarter. The school also sent home a letter to parents about the incident assuring them that their children were never in danger. Well, yeah, because it was a quarter-sized toy gun.

* Kyron Birdine, a junior at Arlington High School in Texas, didn’t appreciate having to take the statewide STAAR test because the entire time he was in school he was being prepared to take a different statewide test. He still had to take that test, the TAKS, to graduate. So he wrote “YOLO” (you only live once) and “I have the TAKS test to study for, not this unneeded craziness” on the test and scrawled a happy face next to it. Then he took a photo of what he'd written and tweeted it. School officials gave him four days in-school suspension for that.

* Briar MacLean, 13, didn’t hesitate when he saw a bully pull a knife on a classmate at Sir John MacDonald School in Canada. MacLean jumped between the two and pushed the bully away. And he was lauded for his efforts by school officials. No, just joking. They searched his locker, gave him a reprimand and made him stay in the principal’s office for the rest of the day. MacLean’s mother said the school’s vice principal explained the punishment by saying they “don’t condone heroics in this school.” Maybe they should make that the official school motto.

* San Diego Mayor Bob Filner has publicly asked people who may be chosen as jurors to reject federal charges against Ronnie Chang. Chang has been charged by the Justice Department with running a medical marijuana dispensary, which is legal under California law but illegal under federal law.

* A recent Inspector General’s report found that the Internal Revenue Service authorized some 52,000 travel cards for employees in fiscal 2011. The agency has just 97,717 employees, so that means more than half of its employees had a government credit card.

* Officials in Petersburg, Va., have cited the local post office for not mowing its grass following several complaints by residents. The grass at the post office was later mowed.

* Police in Alberta, Canada, thought they’d found one of those mythological “snuff films” when someone turned in film footage they’d found at a local dump showing a man holding a knife while standing over what appeared to be a dead body. Further investigation found the man was actor Dan Ackroyd and the footage was from the 1990 film “Loose Cannons.” When contacted for comment Ackroyd told the website TMZ, “The movie should have been left in the landfill where it belongs.”

Charles Oliver is a staff writer for The Daily Citizen.