Guess What the School Did to a First-Grader Who Turned in a Toy Gun Mistakenly Left in His Backpack

After first-grader Darin Simak left his backpack in a friend’s car on Tuesday night, his mother marshaled a substitute for her son to take to school on Wednesday.

Little did she know a toy gun was inside the stand-in.

Later on in the day, Simak discovered the toy during class. But instead of stuffing it back inside the backpack and perhaps scooting home without incident, the 7-year-old decided to take a different course.

He approached his teacher and handed over the toy gun: “I’m not a-sp’osed to have this,” Simak recalled to WTAE-TV in Pittsburgh.

With that, Simak was sent to the office at Martin Elementary School in New Kensington, Pennsylvania — about 20 miles northwest of Pittsburgh — and suspended, said his mother, Jennifer Mathabel.

But by the next morning, Mathabel decided she wouldn’t comply — and sent her son to school Thursday.

“I got a phone call from the principal at 9 a.m., and she said, ‘Darin is not to be in school,’” Mathabel told WTAE. “I said, ‘I’m sending him to school because he is entitled to be in school and be educated.’”

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Class President

President Obama, his immediate aides and his cabinet secretaries have used taxpayer dollars to woo young voters at more than 130 universities and schools between March 2011 and March 2012, according to a survey of news reports and press releases reviewed by The Daily Caller.

Obama won 66 percent of the youth vote in 2008, while Republican Sen. John McCain got only 32 percent. Since then, youth enthusiasm for Obama has declined, partly because of high unemployment: More than 50 percent of recent college graduates are unemployed or underemployed.

Less than 35 percent of the 18- to 29-year-old cohort say they’re likely to vote in 2012, according to an April 26 report by Gallup, which also showed Obama leading Romney in that age group by a 64-29 margin.

Roughly one-third of the visits were to swing states, including Virginia, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Ohio, Colorado and Florida.

The number of swing-state visits was matched by visits to universities and schools in blue states, including California, New York, Maryland and Massachusetts. Still, many students in blue-state universities can vote in other states.

Obama personally visited 27 colleges and high schools while trying to boost support and enthusiasm among younger voters. He used Air Force One to visit three more universities this week, spurring charges that he’s using taxpayer-funded flights to subsidize his 2012 campaign.

The first lady, Vice President Joe Biden and his wife Jill visited another 26 education centers during the year. Top Obama aide Valerie Jarrett visited seven centers, and his cabinet secretaries flew or drove to 73 more.

Department of Education Secretary Arne Duncan visited 27, while Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano visited 11. Kathleen Sebelius, who runs the Department of Health and Human Services, visited seven and Energy Secretary Steven Chu visited eight, according to press releases collected by Generation Opportunity, which is trying to boost political activity and turnout by younger Americans.

Some of the visits involved multiple officials. For example, Biden and Duncan have visited several schools to tout the administration’s funding plans to an audience of students and their parents.

Sub-cabinet officials, including the surgeon general and the NASA administrator, have visited at least another 73 education centers.

“What you have is very sophisticated effort [by the administration] to use every means possible and every appointed official possible,” Generation Opportunity president Paul Conway told The Daily Caller. However, he added, the group’s surveys show that “people will vote on their record in office, not their charisma.” Conway worked as an appointee in the Department of Labor during the previous administration.

The visits were all considered official visits, but they also helped the Obama administration reach out to a critical segment of their base.

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Santorum: ‘Bill O’Reilly has refused to put me on his program’

After his 2006 midterm election loss in Pennsylvania, former Republican Sen. Rick Santorum took a job with the Fox News Channel as a contributor, appearing regularly on the network until he departed last year to run for president.

But even having spent over four years working at the Fox, Santorum said he has been unable to get invited to be on its show “The O’Reilly Factor,” hosted by Bill O’Reilly. In an appearance on Mike Gallagher’s radio show on Monday, Santorum sounded off about it.

“I’ve seen the media completely try to shape this race,” Santorum said. “It’s not just the liberal media. It’s even Fox News. Bill O’Reilly has refused to put me on his program. As far as he was concerned, I wasn’t a worthy enough candidate to earn a spot, sit across from him and be on his program.”

Santorum chalked that up to the “elite media,” both conservative and liberal, trying to determine the outcome of elections.

“Here you have folks supposedly in the conservative media who are saying, ‘You know — well, we’re going to choose who we think is going to win,’” Santorum continued. “And then complain that the mainstream media does the same thing. Look, this is not just a few folks. This is a general attitude of the elite media in our country, both conservative and liberal, who think they know best and they’re going to decide — based on [who] they think the candidate should be — who you should think the candidate’s going to be. And Iowa is going to provide a surprise to that tomorrow.”

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