There’s never been an easy time to be a kid, but today’s children are dealing with a whole new set of problems.
You can get suspended from school for pretending that a Pop Tart with a bite taken out of it is a gun.
Same goes for yelling “Bang! Bang!” with an ordinary pencil.
Or your finger.
Heck, you can get into big trouble just for drawing ninjas.
Everybody wants their kids to be safe, but this has gotten way out of hand. Zero tolerance is just a way for cowardly teachers and school administrators to cover their butts, and it’s really hurting a lot of kids who haven’t done anything wrong. They’re just being children. We’re teaching them that it’s bad. We’re letting them down, based on nothing but our own paranoid fears.
Zero tolerance is the disease.
This is the cure:
If that sounds like it was written by a little kid, you’re exactly right. I’ll let cartoonist and Axe Cop co-creator Ethan Nicolle tell the story. From AxeCop.com:
The AXE COP saga began on a Christmas visit to see my family. My Father, a man with very healthy loins, has managed to produce a variety of children, ranging from me, a 29 year old comic book artist, to my 5 year old brother Malachai, a 5 year old boy genius, with four other siblings in between. During the visit Malachai was running around with his toy fireman axe and he said he was playing “Axe Cop.” He asked me to play with him, and I asked what my weapon was… so he brought me a toy flute (actually a recorder). I told him I would rather be Axe Cop then Flute Cop, and he seemed just fine with being Flute Cop. The story that followed became more and more brilliant, until I couldn’t contain myself and I had to draw the whole thing into a one page comic. From there the saga continued, and over the course of my week-long visit we cranked out the first four episodes of AXE COP. I posted the comics to my blog and on Facebook and they got great responses. I decided to give AXE COP a home on the internet here and attempt to continue the saga as often as I have time to draw them, and I can get Malachai to write them.
That was in 2009. Since then, Axe Cop has gone from the web to the pages of Dark Horse Comics, and now it’s a Saturday late-night show on FOX, with Nick Offerman (Parks and Recreation) as the voice of Axey Smartist himself.
And it’s all because a little kid was not only allowed to behave like a little kid, but encouraged to do so. At a lot of schools across America, Malachai Nicholle’s boundless imagination, impish sense of humor, and perfectly normal love of extremely violent wish fulfillment could land him in a lot of trouble. Instead, he gets to watch his dreams come to life. He even gets to hang out with Ron Swanson.
Let that be a lesson to you, schools of America. We need a lot more Malachais and a lot fewer Scrooges.
Now knock it off.
(Follow @AXECOP on Twitter, and read the whole thing from the beginning at AxeCop.com.)