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7 year old's suspend for "pencil guns"


Two Suffolk second graders have been suspended for making shooting noises while pointing pencils at each other.

Media outlets report the 7-year-old boys were suspended for two days for a violation of the Suffolk school system’s zero-tolerance policy on weapons. They were playing with one another in class Friday at Driver Elementary.

“When I asked him about it, he said, ‘Well I was being a Marine and the other guy was being a bad guy,’” said Paul Marshall, one of the boys’ fathers. “It’s as simple as that.”

Marshall, a former Marine, said he believes school officials overreacted.

But Suffolk Public Schools spokeswoman Bethanne Bradshaw said a pencil is considered a weapon when it’s pointed at someone in a threatening way and gun noises are made.

“Some children would consider it threatening, who are scared about shootings in schools or shootings in the community,” Bradshaw said. “Kids don’t think about ‘Cowboys and Indians’ anymore, they think about drive-by shootings and murders and everything they see on television news every day.”

Bradshaw said the policy has been in place for at least two decades. It also bans drawing a picture of a gun and pointing a finger in a threatening manner.

Marshall said his son has good grades and no history of being disruptive in class. On the suspension note, the teacher noted that the boy stopped when she told him to do so.

He said school administrators failed to use common sense.

“Enough is enough,” said Paul Marshall. “I see it as the tail is now wagging the dog.”

Bradshaw said the suspensions were effective Monday and Tuesday.

“It’s an effort to try to get kids not to bring any form of violence, even if it’s violent play, into the classroom,” Bradshaw said. “There has to be a consequence because it’s a rule. And it’s a rule that the principals go over.”

Did the school do the right thing or are they over reacting? I think its an over reaction. I am so sick and tired of hearing this in the news. Soon  our children won't be allowed to be kids anymore.. The only reason why kids think about killings and murderes is because the media and adults put that fear into their heads. 


Asked by LostSoul88 at 5:00 PM on May. 8, 2013 in Politics & Current Events

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This question is closed.
Answers (21)
  • "Sorry honey, I'm no idiot. School officials made their decision. "Anon
    Soooo, what are your thoughts on a 5-year-old girl who chats up classmates while waiting for the bus after school. The topic: Playing with a Hello Kitty "bubble gun" that, with the flick of a finger, blows bubbles everywhere. She got a 10 day suspension for a "terroristic threat," Or right here in MI back in March, a 9 yr old brought cupcakes featuring little green Army men on the top. The school took them off claiming "the cupcakes were insensitive in the wake of the Sandy Hook school shooting. " WTF?? How does little plastic toys have to do with Sandy Hook shooting?? There was another child that was kicked out of school for using his finger in the shape of a gun. He and his buddy were playing cops and robbers. I mean holy hell most kids are even developed enough to understand why their idea of fun play might make adults upset!
    IMO, you are a idiot.

    Answer by Michigan-Mom74 at 12:36 AM on May. 10, 2013

  • "they think about drive-by shootings and murders and everything they see on television news every day.”"

    THAT is wrong. kids dont dwell on things like that unless they live in a neighborhood where its an everyday thing. most kids do NOT watch TV news. zero tolerance is zero sense and i wish they would just fucking stop with this stupidity. the boys stopped when they were told to stop, the teacher is a moron. they stopped, yet she still made them go to the office for playing "guns"? this kinda idocracy will not keep the next mass murdering from fact its more likely to make a person snap.

    dont they remember playing "violently" as a kid and didnt they turn out okay? Tom & Jerry has been on for years, yet no body claimed that was causing harm...ppl are so freaking stupid...sorry for ranting!

    Answer by okmanders at 5:06 PM on May. 8, 2013

  • Over-reaction is putting it mildly. Zero tolerance my ass, more like zero common sense. I wonder if they have ever suspended a kid for bullying? That is where they need to focus their efforts, not on silly bullshit like this.

    Answer by Nos4 at 5:06 PM on May. 8, 2013

  • That is ridiculous. Zero tolerance policies don't work, have been proven to not work and yet they still insist on them and punish kids for being kids.

    Answer by kmath at 6:14 PM on May. 8, 2013

  • Overreacting. Kids(especially boys) have been playing like this probably since the dawn of time lol Except it used to be "clubs" then swords and finally guns.

    There is a great fictional movie that shows the problem with Zero tolerance policies and why they do not work, it's called Bang Bang your dead.

    Answer by tntmom1027 at 5:08 PM on May. 8, 2013

  • Same song, another verse. A little bit louder and a little bit worse.

    How many times are we going to read stories of this idiocy? Common sense has gone right out the window.

    Answer by Ballad at 5:12 PM on May. 8, 2013

  • Kids are taught no boundaries and kids are not allowed to be kids anymore.

    Answer by virginiamama71 at 6:00 PM on May. 8, 2013

  • Stupid. Absolutely stupid.

    I can understand suspenind a child for something like what my son did. He was mad, was a the pencil sharpener, and turned around and told a kid: I'm going to slit your throat.

    Yeeah.......stupid choice for sure. He deserved to be suspended, and was, for ONE day.

    Two kids, playing around, BEING kids...that was a stupid overreaction.

    Answer by Rosehawk at 6:10 PM on May. 8, 2013

  •  This pretty much says it for me :/


    Answer by mrsmom110 at 7:18 PM on May. 8, 2013

  • My son got written up and had to serve silent lunch because he made a finger fun at another student in the halls. He was in first grade. The only thing that saved him from being suspended was his IEP.

    Answer by But_Mommie at 7:20 PM on May. 8, 2013