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Elementary School Kids Elementary School Kids

Was This School Being ProActive or Did They Overreact?

Posted by on Jan. 5, 2013 at 9:30 AM
  • 14 Replies

6-Year-Old Boy Is Suspended for Pointing Fingers at Classmate Like a Gun

Posted by Jeanne Sager

fingers shape gunTalk about an over-reaction! A 6-year-old boy has been suspended from school for pointing his finger like a gun and saying "pow" to another student. The Maryland first grader is unlucky enough to have gotten caught up in the mass anxiety that's swept American school districts in the wake of the shooting at the Sandy Hook Elementary School.

Let's just set aside the debate over kids and gun play for a second, shall we? Unfortunately, his school record isn't going to reflect the national distress at the exact moment of his little mishap. Instead we have a 6-year-old whose minor transgression will follow him for the rest of his school career. Is that really fair?

The child's family is fighting to have this little guy's suspension expunged from his record, and I can't help but agree with them. Because let's face it, this was pretty minor. This kid used his FINGERS in the shape of a gun! He didn't bring a real gun to school.

What's more, he's only 6. He's at an age when adult supervision is a must, when kids' brains are still so underdeveloped that something as simple as tying their own shoes is often a challenge. And we expect them to think out the repercussions of pointing their fingers at a pal right after a mass school shooting?

I don't think so.

We have put school administrators in a tough spot in America. We expect them to come down hard on kids who act up. We want to strike out bullying, end school violence. We mean well, but we're hurting our kids.

Six-year-olds are suspended for pointing their fingers. Six-year-olds are haunted forever by actions done when they were SIX!

It's as this 6-year-old's attorney pointed out to the Washington Post:

They took the worst possible interpretation of this little child’s actions, and five years from now, if he gets into a tussle, they’re going to look back and say, ‘This is one bad little kid.'

We need to strike a balance here. Can't we hold little kids accountable for their actions without forcing them to pay for being young and immature forever? Can't we hold off on the hardcore punishments, on marking the "permanent" record until they're old enough to actually understand what they're doing?

Do you think it's right to brand this 6-year-old for something so silly?

Should transgressions for kids this young go on their record?

 

by on Jan. 5, 2013 at 9:30 AM
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Replies (1-10):
GwenMB
by Gwen on Jan. 5, 2013 at 10:00 AM

From the article, it sounds like there has been more than one incident, but suspending a 6 yo for this still sounds extreme.

Kids in my son's K class have made objects into guns in class & their teacher just gently says "X, remember the rule is no guns in school" and that's the end of it.  It seems, to me anyway, that discipline issues in the classroom that don't involve someone actually getting hurt can be handled like that.  I'd be surprised if 'extended conversations' really get anywhere with a 6 yo.  Especially if the conversation is as one-sided as I'm guessing.

sparky1006
by on Jan. 5, 2013 at 3:17 PM

who hadn't done that when they were kids.Hello!!!

didn't you use to play cowboys and indians????

That is the same way kids feel now.

The Sandy Hook was something completely different.

It was an adult using real guns.

Not a child pointing their finger at someone.

TV has alot to do with things like that.

Or your parents taking you out showing you how to shoot at cans or birds,etc.'This is silly to put on their record pow I shot you with my finger!!

MommaTasha1003
by on Jan. 5, 2013 at 3:37 PM
1 mom liked this

Check out "The War On Kids" on Netflix to learn more about how stupid the "No Tolerance Policy" can get...

Our schools are looking more & more like prisons, inside & out.. Its very sad. Almost seems like they are preparing them for jail more so than college & an independant life.

Jazmyn1
by on Jan. 5, 2013 at 3:53 PM
Its crazy idk what to think cause a kid did this to my son and said im gonna bring a gun and shoot u in the head it doesnt matter the age you have to investigate but an expulsion may be a little harsh depends on his previous behavior we all played that when we were kids but now a days its different
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periwinkle163
by on Jan. 5, 2013 at 7:36 PM

 That is not allowed here either, also they are suspended and have to see a counselor before being allowed back if they say anything like I'm going to kill you. There is a kinder garner at my kiddos school that has been suspended twice for saying that.

coolmommy2x
by Gold Member on Jan. 6, 2013 at 9:25 AM
What stands out to me is the lawyer's comment that in 5 years if there is another incident, they'll see this and think he's a bad kid. Sounds to me like the family is afraid of this happening again so they want a clean slate. KWIM?

I do think suspension is a bit much but I don't know the full story. Did he say or do something threatening or wrong just before saying Pow? I don't know the whole story.
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CrazedMomof2
by on Jan. 6, 2013 at 10:04 AM
I think it's too much,
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maxswolfsuit
by Max on Jan. 6, 2013 at 10:39 AM

If it was a one time isolated incident I think it was overreacting. 

But as I always say with these stories, we don't know the whole story. This could be one of many incidents. He could have warned repeatedly. The parents could have been contacted many times. We will never know many important details. 

When school related stories hit the media all we get to hear is the parents' side of the story. The school is bound by confidentiality and can't give the press all the information they might have missed. 

Working in schools I've been privy to the other side of some of these stories and I will tell you there's lots the media doesn't know about. 

maxswolfsuit
by Max on Jan. 6, 2013 at 10:41 AM

I don't know what they think one suspension as a Kindergartner will do on his record. It's not like it's something that will be on his college applications or anything. 

They won't have Harvard calling saying, "We'd love to have your son, but we see he got suspended when he was five. Because of that we can't accept him."


Quoting coolmommy2x:

What stands out to me is the lawyer's comment that in 5 years if there is another incident, they'll see this and think he's a bad kid. Sounds to me like the family is afraid of this happening again so they want a clean slate. KWIM?

I do think suspension is a bit much but I don't know the full story. Did he say or do something threatening or wrong just before saying Pow? I don't know the whole story.


Malley
by on Jan. 6, 2013 at 10:53 AM
We don't know the whole story so it's hard to say. If it was just done in play then it was over reacting but if it was done threateningly than that is different. I realize we're talking about a child but there are some disturbed and scary kids out there.
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