He said he was never notified in writing what his son was suspended for, but that a school official told him verbally it was for bringing “something that looked like a weapon.”
I dimly recall the Nerf gun craze of my own youth that took place somewhere between the ages of 6 and 11, about the same time Super Soakers were all the rage. One thing I do recall about those years was the explicit understanding that neither Nerf guns or Super Soakers were actual guns that could hurt anyone. Apparently things have changed. According to Houston’s WMAZ, bringing a Nerf gun to fourth grade show-and-tell now gets you a suspension.
“They told me my son brought a weapon to school and they asked me if I was aware,” McDonald said Wednesday. “I asked them what it was and they said it was a plastic Nerf gun.”
McDonald said had he known his child was planning to take the blue, orange and green plastic toy to class, he would’ve told the child not to take it.
The child was initially given three days suspension, which was reduced to three days in-school suspension, McDonald said.
“He told me he didn’t know they would think it was a weapon or he wouldn’t have brought it to school,” McDonald said.
The summary is that the boy was given three days of in-school suspension but his father wasn’t notified until after the fact. The Superintendent also claims that the suspension wasn’t a result of teachers viewing the Nerf gun as being dangerous…and yet, he was suspended. The Superintendent declined to further discuss the case. So, which is it? Was he suspended for having a toy or a weapon? There is no option C.
But it could have been worse. In the last few years, school zero tolerance policies that may be/probably are aimed at giving the appearance of increasing school safety and general order are on the rise to include arresting children for innocuous deeds such as spraying perfume on themselves in class. Here’s five real headscratchers:
Yes, a child in New Mexico was arrested for burping loudly in gym class.
A New York 13-year-old was arrested for writing “I love my friends Abby and Faith. Lex was here 2/1/10 :)” on her classroom desk in green marker. To the gulag with her!
Don’t draw a picture of Jesus on the cross despite it being a ubiquitous image in Western Civilization for 2,000 years, it’s violent. Better yet, the drawing was in response to the teacher asking kids to draw things that reminded them of Christmas.
Two Georgia 5th graders were suspended for four days after they used prescription nasal spray one of them had brought from home. Yeah, they did have allergies.
A Virginia kindergartener was suspended because he got upset in class and cried. The official reason for the suspension was “disrupting the educational process.”