You'd think, then, that teachers would be trying to impart (not erase) that notion from the minds of students and parents. After all, this distinction is what sanity is all about. It is schizophrenics who have trouble distinguishing signs from things signified. (Schizophrenia was known, earlier, as "dementia praecox," a "disease of language" wherein metaphors get treated as literal and similes shipwreck in a logical shallows of compressed, black-hole mentality, on the rough shores of irreality.)
It's really sad to think of educators and schizophrenics in the same sentence.
But even if we kill that thought, even if we just take the event as over-reaction, pure and simple, well, you'd think that educators would not be in the business of blowing things out of proportion.
Still, that's what the school did, it blew something up all out of proportion.
Oops. I have just used a violent phrase: "blew up." And before that, "kill."
Will Homeland Security target me now?
Of course not. Not even the federal government is that stupid.
The awful truth then dawns: the people in charge of America's children are more foolish than the federal government.
Now that's dangerous. I don't think I need to draw out this picture any further.