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First grader suspended for pointing finger, saying 'pow'
January 3, 2013 at 8:22 AM

 

First grader suspended for making gun gesture with finger at Maryland school

A 6-year-old boy was suspended from his Maryland elementary school for making a gun gesture with his finger, pointing it at a classmate and saying "pow."

The Washington Post reports the first grader's parents are fighting to remove the disciplinary action, which the school said was due to the child making a "threat" to shoot another student in December, from the child's record.

The school says the child pointed his finger at a female student in his class as if it were a gun and said "pow." The school says the child had been warned before about similar behavior, but chose to do it anyway.

“We always make sure there is clear conversation with the student and parents about any behaviors that have to change and what the consequences are if that behavior doesn’t change,” Montgomery schools spokesman Dana Tofig told The Washington Post, saying that the suspension was not a knee-jerk reaction to a single incident.

The child was suspended for one day on December 21. His family's attorney Wednesday filed an appeal, asking that the incident be expunged from the child's record and arguing the boy never had the intention of shooting anyone.

“He’s skinny and meek," attorney Robin Ficker said of the boy. "In his words, he was playing.”



Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/us/2013/01/03/first-grader-suspended-for-making-gun-gesture-with-finger-at-maryland-school/?test=latestnews#ixzz2Gv0MDtuD

Replies

  • Mommy_of_Riley
    Jes
    January 4, 2013 at 1:02 AM
    You're assuming he was being threatening. He didn't say to the girl "if I had a gun I'd kill you". For all you know they were playing cowboys and Indians at recess and he continued into the classroom.

    Granted he should have knocked off the playing while in class I think accusing the child of being "threatening" is silly.


    Quoting STVUstudent:



    Quoting Mommy_of_Riley:

    Ofcourse its playing! Do you have a son?


    Quoting STVUstudent:


    Wasn't one of the kids from Columbine considered "skinny and meek"?  A six year old is old enough to understand that threatening to shoot someone isn't funny, and isn't playing.  With little kids being influenced by gangsta culture, it is the parent's responsibility to model and reinforce and enforce appropriate behavior...


    Yes, I have a son.  He is five and in kindergarten. 


    The first time is playing.  When you have been told that it is unacceptable behavior and continue to do it, it stops being play.  Granted, the kid did not have a gun, but he was clearly telling the girl that if he HAD a gun, he would shoot her.  The really sad thing is, too many kids have access to guns, and until something like this happens to people you know, kids this young don't understand that this is permanent. 


    The kid got a one day suspension and a notation on his school record for violating school policy and repeating paterns of violent behavior.  For this, the parents hire a lawyer? 


    I stand by my opinion- threatening to shoot someone isn't funny and isn't playing. 

  • STVUstudent
    January 4, 2013 at 8:20 AM

    You know, none of us were there, and we can speculate all day long as to what REALLY happened.  My thoughts, and my opinions- sometimes, the "administration" can and does go high and right on some things... I draw my thoughts from what I saw- that the child had been warned previously not to do this, and still the behavior continued, AND...  in this day and age, where guns and violence seem to be the preferred method of conflict resolution (perhaps neck and neck with litigation), and children are being bullied at unprecidented rates, to the point of suicide in YOUNG kids, the school HAD to act.  If they had already spoken to the child, and his parents, what is next?  Seriously?  The child did not correct the behavior, and the parents did not correct the behavior. 

    I hope this is never my kid, on either end of the conflict, but I'll tell you what... if it were my kid being the perpetrator, that one day suspension would be the most miserable day of his six year old life.  He would KNOW that it was the result of not following the rules and not doing what the teacher told him to do. If it were my kid on the receiving end- the one being "shot" at (and he felt threatened), I would be the parent demanding the school take some action.

    Children who are not held accountable grow into teens and adults with no sense of personal responsibility.  In my line of work, I have had many many young people working for me, and it is easy to pick out the ones who grew up in homes where it was never their fault when things went bad.

    Quoting Mommy_of_Riley:

    You're assuming he was being threatening. He didn't say to the girl "if I had a gun I'd kill you". For all you know they were playing cowboys and Indians at recess and he continued into the classroom.

    Granted he should have knocked off the playing while in class I think accusing the child of being "threatening" is silly.


    Quoting STVUstudent:

     


    Quoting Mommy_of_Riley:

    Ofcourse its playing! Do you have a son?


    Quoting STVUstudent:


    Wasn't one of the kids from Columbine considered "skinny and meek"?  A six year old is old enough to understand that threatening to shoot someone isn't funny, and isn't playing.  With little kids being influenced by gangsta culture, it is the parent's responsibility to model and reinforce and enforce appropriate behavior...


    Yes, I have a son.  He is five and in kindergarten. 


    The first time is playing.  When you have been told that it is unacceptable behavior and continue to do it, it stops being play.  Granted, the kid did not have a gun, but he was clearly telling the girl that if he HAD a gun, he would shoot her.  The really sad thing is, too many kids have access to guns, and until something like this happens to people you know, kids this young don't understand that this is permanent. 


    The kid got a one day suspension and a notation on his school record for violating school policy and repeating paterns of violent behavior.  For this, the parents hire a lawyer? 


    I stand by my opinion- threatening to shoot someone isn't funny and isn't playing. 


  • Mommy_of_Riley
    Jes
    January 4, 2013 at 10:02 AM
    I understand where you're coming from. I still feel that suspension was uncalled for. Detention would have been suitable for a 6 year old in my opinion... But like you said, none of we're there...

    Quoting STVUstudent:

    You know, none of us were there, and we can speculate all day long as to what REALLY happened.  My thoughts, and my opinions- sometimes, the "administration" can and does go high and right on some things... I draw my thoughts from what I saw- that the child had been warned previously not to do this, and still the behavior continued, AND...  in this day and age, where guns and violence seem to be the preferred method of conflict resolution (perhaps neck and neck with litigation), and children are being bullied at unprecidented rates, to the point of suicide in YOUNG kids, the school HAD to act.  If they had already spoken to the child, and his parents, what is next?  Seriously?  The child did not correct the behavior, and the parents did not correct the behavior. 


    I hope this is never my kid, on either end of the conflict, but I'll tell you what... if it were my kid being the perpetrator, that one day suspension would be the most miserable day of his six year old life.  He would KNOW that it was the result of not following the rules and not doing what the teacher told him to do. If it were my kid on the receiving end- the one being "shot" at (and he felt threatened), I would be the parent demanding the school take some action.


    Children who are not held accountable grow into teens and adults with no sense of personal responsibility.  In my line of work, I have had many many young people working for me, and it is easy to pick out the ones who grew up in homes where it was never their fault when things went bad.


    Quoting Mommy_of_Riley:

    You're assuming he was being threatening. He didn't say to the girl "if I had a gun I'd kill you". For all you know they were playing cowboys and Indians at recess and he continued into the classroom.

    Granted he should have knocked off the playing while in class I think accusing the child of being "threatening" is silly.



    Quoting STVUstudent:


     



    Quoting Mommy_of_Riley:

    Ofcourse its playing! Do you have a son?



    Quoting STVUstudent:



    Wasn't one of the kids from Columbine considered "skinny and meek"?  A six year old is old enough to understand that threatening to shoot someone isn't funny, and isn't playing.  With little kids being influenced by gangsta culture, it is the parent's responsibility to model and reinforce and enforce appropriate behavior...



    Yes, I have a son.  He is five and in kindergarten. 



    The first time is playing.  When you have been told that it is unacceptable behavior and continue to do it, it stops being play.  Granted, the kid did not have a gun, but he was clearly telling the girl that if he HAD a gun, he would shoot her.  The really sad thing is, too many kids have access to guns, and until something like this happens to people you know, kids this young don't understand that this is permanent. 



    The kid got a one day suspension and a notation on his school record for violating school policy and repeating paterns of violent behavior.  For this, the parents hire a lawyer? 



    I stand by my opinion- threatening to shoot someone isn't funny and isn't playing. 



  • LntLckrsCmQut
    January 4, 2013 at 10:35 AM

    What does being skinny and meek have to do with anything?

  • Traci_Momof2
    January 4, 2013 at 1:32 PM

    We don't know that he did say anything like that.  We also don't know that he didn't and we don't know that he did or didn't say anything like that in any of the previous incidents.  There's just too many details missing to really draw a proper conclusion.

    If this was a first incident I would definitely say overreaction.  But it wasn't a first incident.  The boy had been talked to before.  The parents had been talked to before.  At this point, it doesn't matter what the specific behavior was.  The fact is they were warned to stop the behavior and it didn't stop.  Therefore the school had to take it to the next level.

    Perhaps the suspension wasn't so much for the boy as it was for the parents.  Maybe this was the only way for the school to get through to the parents to say "hey, your boy needs to knock it off".  I mean, if they are the type to hire a lawyer for something like this, I don't think it's a far stretch to believe they are the type to think their child can do no wrong.

    Quoting Mommy_of_Riley:

    You're assuming he was being threatening. He didn't say to the girl "if I had a gun I'd kill you". For all you know they were playing cowboys and Indians at recess and he continued into the classroom.

    Granted he should have knocked off the playing while in class I think accusing the child of being "threatening" is silly.



  • Traci_Momof2
    January 4, 2013 at 1:39 PM

    I don't remember playing those when I was growing up.  I played tag, red light green light, red rover red rover, things like that.  I have not seen my kids ever play those games either.  They are boys, ages 6 and 8, and I can't recall a time they have played like that.  They do own nerf guns but even with those I have ALWAYS told them to NEVER point the nerf gun at a person, only at things.

    I'm sorry but shooting other people, even just for pretend, is not funny and is not a game.  Not to me anyway.

    Quoting Mommy_of_Riley:

    So you NEVER played cops and robbers growing up? Cowboys and Indians? Never?



    Quoting mommy5912:

    I don't blame the school one bit!!! Kids need to know guns and make believe guns and pretending to shoot othersd is never ok for any reason


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