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Gun Threat Leads to Suspension of 5 Year Old in Lakewood – Is Suspension Warranted? [POLL]

Flickr User R0Ng
Flickr User R0Ng

Last night I told you the story of a 5 year old who was sent home with a letter saying he’d be suspended if he continued to simulate gun play in school.

The cause of the letter was due to the kid creating a gun out of Legos during an after school program in which he participated.

According to this:

Joseph Cardosa is part of the after school program at Hyannis West Elementary School, on Cape Cod. His parents received a letter a few days ago that said Joseph has received his first written warning for using toys inappropriately, and that upon a second written warning, he will be suspended from the program for two weeks.

Joseph’s parents, Shelia Cruz and Octavio Cardosa, say the school is taking things too far.

“It’s not like he’s designing a machine gun,” said Cardosa.

“I can understand with all the things that are going on right now in schools, but on the other hand, kids are taught you know ‘here’s a squirt gun, this is fun,’ so this is fun to him, you know what I mean, he’s running around playing – a little bit of re-direction would have been enough,” said Cruz, Joseph’s mother.

This is at least the third time in just the past few weeks that a child has been scolded over a toy gun, or worse. In Eastern Pennsylvania, a 5-year-old was suspended after she was overheard talking about using a “Hello Kitty” bubble gun to shoot her friends. And in Philadelphia, a 5th grader was searched and scolded for pulling out a piece of torn paper in class in the shape of a gun, and allegedly telling classmates she had a handgun on her.

The principal of Hyannis West Elementary told Fox 25 “we need a safe enviornment for our students,” and said: “While someone might think that making a Lego gun is just an action of a 5-year-old, to other 5-year-olds, that might be a scary experience.”

To suspend a 5 year old over a Legos gun is going overboard. Assuming it ever came to that.

Similarly, a 5 year old in Lakewood was just suspended for 2 days over a threat he made to bring a gun to school.

According to this:

A 5-year-old township kindergarten student was suspended after he threatened in class to bring a gun to school, district Superintendent Laura Winters confirmed Wednesday.

The incident happened Tuesday afternoon at the Spruce Street School, near the end of the day, Winters said. She declined to provide further information about the student or threat because of student confidentiality.

Miguel Rivera, the principal of the Spruce Street School, called police to make an official report of the incident. It is district policy to notify law enforcement authorities about such threats.

The boy received a two-day suspension because of his age, Winters said.
Spruce Street School is primarily kindergarten classes with some first-grade classes. The class size of an all English speaking class at the school is about 26 students, Winters said. The student was not part of a bilingual class, which have a different average class size.

Unfortunately, the idea of guns is common even with small children, the superintendent said.

“They are exposed to it all over — video games, movies, television, everywhere,” Winters said. “The protocol for the seriousness of the threat” resulted in the action that was taken.

Now I get the seriousness of a threat to bring a gun to school. But we’re talking about a 5 year old.

And a 2 day suspension at that?

Wouldn’t it have made more sense to talk to the kid and try to find out just what he meant by a gun (perhaps a nerf gun, or the above mentioned bubble gun); and then have police investigate if indeed he did have access to one?

Just my two cents.

 

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