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Elementary School Kids Elementary School Kids

What do you think about this school suspension? Warranted or not??

Posted by on May. 8, 2013 at 3:35 PM
  • 12 Replies

 

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Question: Did he deserve the punishment received from the school?

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Yes

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Yes, and his mother should have punished him as well

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Two Boys Suspended For Pointing Pencils Like Guns

screenshot: Fox43

A 7-year-old boy, who was suspended for two days after playing a game of make-believe with his friend, returned to school on Wednesday.  

More on Yahoo! Shine: Kindergarten Boy Suspended for His 'Distracting' Mohawk 

On Friday, Christopher Marshall, a second grader at Driver Elementary School in Suffolk, Virginia and his  classmate were playing with their pencils, pointing them at each other and making machine gun noises when a concerned teacher pulled them into the principals' office. 

More on Yahoo!
 1 in 9 middle and high schoolers suspended during school year 

"I got a call from Christopher's school at 12:30 on Friday," the boy's mother, Wendy Marshall, 34, a stay-at-home mother of five, told Yahoo! Shine. "His teacher told me that Christopher and his friend were playing with pencils, making machine gun and 'bang bang' noises. I asked if they were pointing the pencils at anyone else, if they were angry or hostile, disrupting class, or refused to stop when asked and the teacher said no. I told her that I would speak to Christopher but his teacher said she was under obligation to report them anyway." 

Wendy immediately picked up her son from school and when she got there, the principal explained that due to the school's zero tolerance policy against weapons or anything that resembles a weapon, Christopher would be suspended on Monday and Tuesday, allowed to return on Wednesday. Bethanne Bradshaw, a spokesperson for Suffolk Public Schools could not be reached for comment but according to a report from Fox43 she said, "A pencil is a weapon when it is pointed at someone in a threatening way and gun noises are made" and that "Some children would consider it threatening, who are scared about shootings in schools or shootings in the community. 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." According to the Suffolk News-Herald, the school had received hundreds of emails and on one day fielded about 75 phone calls per hour regarding the matter. Bradshaw wrote in an email to the paper that the reaction to the incident was overwhelming. “Opinions were very strong and mean-spirited, and often included abusive language and profanity.”

"I told the principal that Christopher's father is an ex-Marine and he was just emulating his dad," said Wendy. "Apparently the students were told at the beginning of the year that they couldn't pretend that objects were guns—there are only four weeks left in school. How could they remember that? Kids need to be reminded to bathe and brush their teeth. Besides, they were just being boys. The disciplinary report will be on Christopher's record forever." The report, below, was provided by the Marshall family.

Wendy took her son home and asked him to explain what happened. "He was shaking with fear and didn't understand why he was in trouble," she said. "So we reenacted the scene and I told him that he did nothing wrong." Christopher's father alerted the local news station and Wendy and Christopher spent the next two days eating ice cream, playing Mario Go Kart on Wii, and cleaning the house. "I let him drink soda too," she says. "I'm not going to punish him."

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Wendy did not want to identify Christopher's friend but she says she believes he got a similar punishment. "I would understand the school's point better if the kids were older and they were being hostile toward each other," she says. "But these kids were laughing and playing and Christopher is being made into an example, which isn't right." 
by on May. 8, 2013 at 3:35 PM
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Replies (1-10):
wakymom
by Ruby Member on May. 8, 2013 at 3:45 PM
1 mom liked this

 In a way, it's very sad that kids innocently playing like that get suspended, yet kids who bully others w/o weapons aren't.

Things like this is why kids need periodic reminders that gun play in any form is not ok for school or the bus. These zero-tolerance policies allow no wiggle room for young kids obviously just playing instead of being a serious a threat. Do I think these kids should've been suspended? No. Unfortunately, the administration was probably not allowed any leeway to take it on a case-by-case basis.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

May is STURGE-WEBER


Awareness Month

SahmTam
by Tammy on May. 8, 2013 at 3:58 PM

 Ridiculous. Zero tolerance for REAL violence or threats should be in place, but wow, the brains and ability to DISCERN what a real threat is have really fallen out of some heads these days. I definitely think the kids' parents should talk to them and let them know it's not ok, but suspension? Really? SMH.

Jinx-Troublex3
by Platinum Member on May. 8, 2013 at 4:29 PM

Over kill - stupidity - ignorance...etc... I could go on. 

One of MANY reasons we have decided to homeschool - there CAN'T be one size fits all schooling. 

RatherBeReading
by on May. 8, 2013 at 6:55 PM

If he did not stop after being asked to, then maybe some other form of punishment should have been imposed. The report clearly says he did stop though, so no, I do not  think it was warranted. Kids are going to play and use their imagination, and it's sad that this is being taken away from them at school. Recess is nothing like it was when I was in elementary school.

maxswolfsuit
by Max on May. 8, 2013 at 7:11 PM

This is the same answer I have for all news stories like these. 

We don't know if there are any other factors that led to suspension. This could have been one of many incidents with this child that culminated in the suspension. 

The parents can go to the media and say anything they want. The school and district can't say anything about the child to the media. 

So it certainly seems like a ridiculous reason to suspend a student, but we might not know the whole story. I had a student who was suspended for drawing a picture. The issue was that he'd been doing similar inappropriate drawings and threatening students over an extended period of time and had been given several less extreme punishments before the suspension was needed. So sometimes it's a series of incidents that leads up the suspension. 

mjande4
by Platinum Member on May. 8, 2013 at 7:57 PM


This!!

Quoting maxswolfsuit:

This is the same answer I have for all news stories like these. 

We don't know if there are any other factors that led to suspension. This could have been one of many incidents with this child that culminated in the suspension. 

The parents can go to the media and say anything they want. The school and district can't say anything about the child to the media. 

So it certainly seems like a ridiculous reason to suspend a student, but we might not know the whole story. I had a student who was suspended for drawing a picture. The issue was that he'd been doing similar inappropriate drawings and threatening students over an extended period of time and had been given several less extreme punishments before the suspension was needed. So sometimes it's a series of incidents that leads up the suspension. 



Jinx-Troublex3
by Platinum Member on May. 8, 2013 at 8:13 PM

DS2 was in kinder and took a ninja sword to school and was suspended. I didn't know it was in his pack as it was a very small one.  

I totally see both sides to this but despite knowing the school's "zero-tolerance" rule,  I was pissed. IMO -total over-reaction. 

DS didn't take it out of his pack. he didn't threaten anyone with it. The teacher saw it IN his bag when he took out his homework and suspended him on the spot. For all she knew, it could have been in there because he was going to a costume party after school. No one was threatened, it wasn't brandished or anything. 

I did take him home, but I dind't punish him at all. he had to do school work as if he were at school - then he was allowed to go play s usual . 

Jinx - Homeschooling, Scouting & Karate butt-kicking  Mom to Star Scout Ian 1/98, Scout Sean 9/00, Junior GS Heidi 4/03. Wife to Joe & Alpha to German Shepherd Spazz.

DrDoofenshmirtz
by Silver Member on May. 8, 2013 at 8:39 PM

IDK, seems ridiculous to me, but there may be more to the story.  However, this is my issue with zero tolerance policies, especially at the elementary level.  Kids that age need to be taught what is right and wrong, and this does nothing to teach him, especially since at home he was allowed to play and eat ice cream.  While I don't agree with the suspension, being home was not a punishment, so nothing was learned, nor was he likely counseled much.  Honestly, I teach 11 year olds and some of my boys still love to play like a ruler or pencil is a gun.  Each time I remind him that it is not okay and why, but with all of the video games and such out there, it is a learned behavior.  I have never truly felt threatened.  But if I did (and in some places, I would, but not at my school), I would start with the principal talking to the child.

soymujer
by Mikki on May. 8, 2013 at 9:11 PM

Suspension was a bit far.  Detention.

family in the van   Mom of four


arthistmom
by Bronze Member on May. 8, 2013 at 9:42 PM

Would this boy also be suspended if he had been using objects other than pencils? Say, his own forefinger? A spork? A banana?

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