School May Suspend 5 y.o. for Making a Lego “Gun”

Hi Readers — This just in: A  5-year-old in an after-school program who used his Legos “inappropriately” to  make a gun may be suspended for two weeks — if he does it again.

But as this Fox25 story out of Boston explains, this is no ordinary tot. He is a recidivist, having used his FINGERS to make a gun just a few weeks earlier. So you can see why school officials are so terrified.

Can’t you?

As the principal explained: “While someone might think making a Lego gun is just an action of a 5-year-old, to other 5-year-olds that might be a scary experience.” We certainly don’t want children ever to feel scared, right? Anyone who scares a child ever should be suspended, including kids who pretend to be lions, aliens, pirates and, scariest of all, principals who’ve had their brains sucked out but don’t even realize it. – L

man, woman, robot, games, toys, town, business, lego

So as not to frighten any children reading this page, I am using  a peaceful Lego image. (Except for the fact her hands have been chopped off. Maybe the principal caught her making a finger gun.)

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67 Responses to School May Suspend 5 y.o. for Making a Lego “Gun”

  1. Fear less January 29, 2013 at 11:57 am #

    Lenore, you are so funny!!!

  2. Rich Wilson January 29, 2013 at 12:13 pm #

    Let’s pretend that the amount of time the kid spends thinking about guns is really a problem.

    What’s the best way to deal with the issue? Punish him and tell him he’s bad by sending him away for 2 weeks? Demoralize him and damage his self esteem?

    Do these people actually, you know, know how to deal with young children?

  3. SKL January 29, 2013 at 12:22 pm #

    I guess the principal needs to be suspended for scaring a 5-year-old by threatening him with 2 weeks’ suspension. Idiot.

  4. Warren January 29, 2013 at 12:27 pm #

    The principal who wrote the statement about five year olds being scared of a lego gun, should be fired immediately.

    This whole scene of paper guns, bubble guns, lego guns and finger guns is getting way out of hand and it is getting worse by the day.

    Time for all parents to go to the nearest WalMart and buy their kid a water pistol. Not one that looks like a real gun, but one of those cheapy semi tranparent green ones.
    Then have all the kids bring them to school on the same day. Maybe the schools will get the point.

  5. Patti January 29, 2013 at 12:30 pm #

    It’s *SO* normal for kids to do this.

    When I worked at the YMCA we were not suppose to let the kids play “guns” – and we had one little boy who liked to bite his sandwich into gun shapes….and “shoot” kids over the half wall. The other kids were completely unphased…..and we just gentle told him to sit an each his lunch (after giggling about it). No big deal made. No harm done.

    That being said – any 5 year old that is absolutely terrified of a “toy” gun (or a lego gun *sigh*) has been brainwashed by his or her parents.

  6. Linda January 29, 2013 at 12:34 pm #

    Even if we were to accept for a moment that making pretend guns is something a child shouldn’t be doing (which I’m not sure it is, but let’s just take that as a given for a moment), it is absurd to think that a 5-year-old has the presence of mind to understand that and avoid doing it at all times.

    Kids mimic and play out all sorts of things, and it takes a certain level of sophistication to understand the proper place and time for all things. 5-year-olds are unlikely to avoid acting out something that is so prevalent in television, movies, comic books, and even the evening news.

  7. Kimberlie January 29, 2013 at 1:03 pm #

    this is just ridiculous, Schools pull this crap as a front to show that they are anti violence supporters, yet, every day kids like my son are getting beaten up on the play ground (not a worst case thinking scenario… it actually happens) and the schools look the other way. (I was actually told not to worry, that neither boy was in trouble, after an incident where a boy attacked my son on the play ground and my son did not fight back, instead curled up in a ball and took the beating … I ask you , WHY would he be in trouble? and WHY THE HE** ISNT that other boy being held responsible for his actions??? ) but they are going to suspend a five year old for building an imaginary play gun with legos… SMH THIS is why I home school

  8. Jenny Islander January 29, 2013 at 1:13 pm #

    ISTR that not that long ago, if a kid repeatedly pretended something “hinky,” the proper response was to call the parents and ask what was going on. In this case, maybe the family had been watching cop dramas with the little boy in the room and it was too much for him. Or his dad might be a cop and he wants a sidearm like Dad. Or his big sister has a bright orange water pistol and he wants one. Or he is trying to figure out what freaks out grownups about a gun shape and, being 5, this is how he does it. Or he vaguely remembers his parents arguing over a picture on the Internet of some guy named Han and a bug man named Greedo. The point is, you ask.

    Or you don’t bother asking and simply tell the boy that gun shapes aren’t allowed in school so he has to either take it apart to make something else or go to the reading corner.

    Instead it’s all “OMGZ HE’S A PSYCHO GET HIM OUT OF OUR SCHOOL HE’S GONNA GO COLUMBINE OMGZ OMGZ.”

  9. Bridget January 29, 2013 at 1:13 pm #

    Normally, I am all over this kind of story. In this case, I read some comments from parents of kids in this kid’s class. OK, well let us say that the individuals said they were parents of kids in this kid’s class. Obviously I cannot verify that. These parents said that this is not as cut and dried as it seems. They allege that this boy was initially scaring other kids intentionally and laughing about it. It is not an isolated occurrence. They allege he repeatedly walked up to others, pointed his finger and yelled bang I shot you. The other children were upset by this. The parents allege that the counselor talked to the boy and his parents more than once. The issue was presented to the parents as “your child is frightening the other kids and that is not a nice thing to do”. The other parents said that the parents of this boy are not taking the situation seriously at all. After repeated counseling, the boy did it again and again that brought us to the first incident as reported by the local news and here on this blog.

    There is more going on here than a zero tolerance policy. The mother is saying that she thinks a warning and a little redirection is sufficient. However, if the other parents are giving a true version of this story, it sound like the school tried that repeatedly. I don’t know that I think a two-week suspension is the right thing. How is that going to teach him anything? He is 5-years old for heaven’s sake. He is going to think it is a two-week vacation. All of this rambling comes down to the fact that it is possible this has nothing at all to do with a gun symbol. I think it is possible the issue is deeper than that and I wonder if it really about a 5-year old bully in the making. If that is the case, isn’t this something we WANT the school to take seriously?

  10. SKL January 29, 2013 at 1:32 pm #

    Bridget, if those facts are true, I have to wonder why the whole “gun” aspect was brought out in the first place. If they used an anti-gun rule to get “more serious” on this kid, that is still wrong IMO. If this is not really a gun issue, then keep the gun rule out of it. (And they shouldn’t have a rule against pretend gun depictions anyway.)

    Sounds like the kid is obnoxious and needs some intervention. Just like a thousand other kids who do not involve pretend guns in their play.

  11. Warren January 29, 2013 at 1:39 pm #

    Sorry Bridget, but I need you to clarify something for me. You want the schools to anticipate the fact that a child will become a bully in the future and take action now, and punish them basically for something they may or may not do in the future?

    This whole bullying thing is another issues getting way out of line.

    Let’s be clear on something. Kids have been playing with toy, fake and pretend guns since the invention of the gun.
    There is nothing wrong with it, and it is absolutely normal, and healthy. And all these schools that have adopted a zero tolerance for toy guns or materials resembling guns are doing nothing more than shutting up the soccer moms that have nothing more to do than complain.

    When we were kids we used to bring cap guns to school, and any kid that didn’t have a toy gun, used a stick or a hockey stick, and pretended to have rifles. We played cowboys and indians, yes indians not natives not first nations people , indians. Cops and robbers, yes cops, not police officers, law enforcement officers but cops. We played war, we pretended to hold other unsuspecting kids hostage in play, while the kids with the rifles played the SWAT team.
    No one got hurt, and to this day, I have yet to hear that any of my friends or classmates has ever taken another’s life. I am assuming the few that went into the military may or may not have, but that is their job.

    Sorry for the rant, but I am so damn tired of this crap.

  12. SKL January 29, 2013 at 1:39 pm #

    I couldn’t find where it said he’d done this before (with his fingers).

    I am looking for any indication that they are relying on a gun-related rule versus just wanting the kid to stop getting in other kids’ faces.

  13. SKL January 29, 2013 at 1:40 pm #

    But the principal’s own quote is telling – assuming it’s not taken out of context.

  14. Captain America January 29, 2013 at 1:41 pm #

    ummmm. . . perhaps there is also a little liberal indoctrination going on here as well.

    I’ve never been a gun buff. But come on!

    I have lately also been questioning the motives of those who are running the “anti-bullying” campaign.

  15. SKL January 29, 2013 at 1:41 pm #

    Yeah, used to be that having a toy gun was a staple of childhood.

    All of us played with toy guns, and extremely few of us turned out violent. :/

  16. MR January 29, 2013 at 1:48 pm #

    The thing I find amazing is that the US as a whole has an extreme infatuation with guns and culture where guns are an moorland part. How can any adult expect a child not to think about, imagine and create guns? It is called imagination, play, imitation, it is WHAT CHILDREN DO and how they learn, they listen to and watch adults. He is just a child…playing! If you want children to stop being fascinated with guns, maybe the adults should lead by example!

  17. AW13 January 29, 2013 at 2:20 pm #

    @Warren: I, too, am so, so tired of this. Common sense has fled the country. Or at least, it’s fled the Boston area.

    @Captain America: Interesting that you should say that about the anti-bullying stuff, I’ve really begun to wonder their agenda.

    And am I the only one who thinks that there *might* be a connection between the increase in viscious online bullying and the increase in mass shootings? It’s almost as though an entire generation has been raised without empathy.

  18. SKL January 29, 2013 at 2:25 pm #

    I love the way some egghead in the video is trying to make this about “what is going on at home.” Really? My kids were doing the finger-gun thing at age 4 and we didn’t have any of that going on at home. No movies, no TV, no nothing. They got the idea from their school pals.

    Kids play guns; get over it.

  19. CLamb January 29, 2013 at 2:26 pm #

    Next time he should make a lego banana to shoot people with.

  20. mysticeye January 29, 2013 at 2:26 pm #

    Let’s assume that the comments elsewhere are correct, and that the child’s behaviour is disruptive and furthermore the parents are not assisting in changing it making in-school interventions less effective or possibly pointless.

    Who should we punish in that case? That’s right we should punish the parents. Don’t threaten the child, suspend the child, or threaten to put a mark on the child’s “permanent record”. Tell the parents to attend sessions, smarten up, or sadly they will have to make other arrangements to educate their child. And if the issue is bad enough then get children’s services or whatnot involved – though last I checked it’s still ok to raise your kids to be assholes.

  21. lollipoplover January 29, 2013 at 2:35 pm #

    SKL- We all had cap guns growing up! We would pool our money and make trips to Hoys 5&10 to buy caps. I’m not a fan of guns myself though I married a hunter.

    Where would a Barbie gun fall under these new overreacting laws? My son used his sister’s Barbie doll bent in half to make his own gun when we wouldn’t buy him toy weapons when he was this age.
    As he’s grown, he loves Nerf gun battles in the house. He doesn’t like real guns to hunt because of the noise and prefers archery. But a Lego gun…well that’s just plain DANGEROUS!

  22. SKL January 29, 2013 at 2:45 pm #

    How much you wanna bet that school actually informed the kids about Sandy Hook (like my kids’ school did, to my dismay). It’s OK to tell them scary, horrifying information about real-life mass shootings. Then they act like the child is messed up when he makes a depiction of a gun out of Lego. Somebody needs his head examined, and I don’t think it’s the five-year-old.

  23. Steve January 29, 2013 at 2:51 pm #

    The Good Old Days when toy guns were enjoyed by all.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=mNWr9eF2Huk

  24. Linvo January 29, 2013 at 3:01 pm #

    I’m sorry, but if my child went to her teacher saying that a boy scared her by pointing his or a Lego gun at her and saying “Bang, I shot you!” I would hope that the teacher would tell her to toughen up and not be a drama queen. It’s the kids that use this trivial stuff to get attention at school that I worry more about. Teach them some strategies to stand up for themselves instead of letting stuff like this get out of proportion!

    And I agree with whoever said that this is in sharp contrast with the casual responses to real physical violence at schools. My daughter has been physically hurt and threatened and at most the perpetrators get told “Don’t do it again”.

  25. Jana January 29, 2013 at 3:09 pm #

    I’ll do you one better, one of my friends showed a video of him on hunting trip shooting a deer while on the bus. I’m a vegan, somewhat for animal rights but mostly a distaste for animal products(yucky). I was not fond of the video but what happened next was insane. The police were called to investigate a gun threat and is suspended for a week.

  26. SKL January 29, 2013 at 3:28 pm #

    Jana: oh, brother. Talk about scary.

    Does it strike anyone as *seriously insane* to try to prevent any evidence of the existence of a common real-life object from ever crossing school property?

    Have they also purged the school libraries of all literature making reference to guns?

    What if an art student drew a picture of his dad’s mounted antique shotgun? That used to be a pretty typical object of art when I was a kid – and nobody got scared!

  27. Warren January 29, 2013 at 3:53 pm #

    Was just wondering, with the zero tolerance for guns, imitation guns, pretend guns and any resemblance of guns………how the hell do they teach history?

    WWI
    WWII
    KOREA
    NAM
    CIVIL
    SPANISH AMERICAN
    ETC

    Are they blacking out all mention of the weapons used during these wars?

    “No, Johnny they did not use 50 cal machine guns. They used their words, to make the Nazi’s give up.”

  28. Jana January 29, 2013 at 3:53 pm #

    They did a drug raid at a school across the street and the guy ran out with a gun so we had to lock down. A teacher told us about it. Well, first she told us about how “a suspicious indivual has been seen near the school.” When I scoffed and declared that it’s a high school everything is suspicious, she explained rather timidly that a gun had been involved. Her nervousness about that word was pretty ridiculous. How exactly do we discuss an issue like gun control if we are not even blue to say the word or see it depicted without cowering?

  29. Havva January 29, 2013 at 4:54 pm #

    Pretty silly if the kids actually did fell threatened by a lego gun. But I’ll believe that some people are easily scared when they are trained that exposure to weaponry, real or fake, makes people dangerous psycos.

    In college there were a group of guys seriously harassing me. The look on their faces when I caught them tossing my desk, just as they found a article about my book, with a photo of me holding a handgun was priceless. They were decidedly freaked out and backed away from my desk when I confirmed that it was a) real, and b) one I had fired it. They asked, I was calm and not threatening them. But they seemed to take it that way… maybe because I wasn’t usually so calm.

  30. Chihiro January 29, 2013 at 5:39 pm #

    If the kids are afraid of a Lego gun, I’m pretty sure there are bigger issues to be dealt with.

  31. RobC January 29, 2013 at 6:05 pm #

    I used to make guns out of Lego all the time when I was a kid. Who knew I was actually a dangerous criminal who needed to be removed from the rest of the 5-year-olds for their own protection?

  32. RobC January 29, 2013 at 6:17 pm #

    “I’m sorry, but if my child went to her teacher saying that a boy scared her by pointing his or a Lego gun at her and saying “Bang, I shot you!” I would hope that the teacher would tell her to toughen up and not be a drama queen.”

    I agree. I’d teach my daughter to deflect the imaginary bullets with her imaginary Wonder Woman bracelets. Now that’s empowerment!

  33. Ophelia January 29, 2013 at 6:51 pm #

    I think it is extremely rude to play at shooting unarmed classmates. It is fine to have a mutually agreed upon game of gunplay. I intervene when I see my child or any other child pretend to shoot another who is *not involved in the game* because often this is a form of bullying, not an invitation to play. Also, it is a sign that the ‘gun’ toting child has seen, in the movies or on TV, brutal scenes he never imagined on his own. When my child is old enough, he will learn to speak up for himself and demand parity in gun play. Until then, the adults are there to enforce common sense rules and teach civility.

  34. linvo January 29, 2013 at 7:06 pm #

    @Ophelia, really? A boy pointing his fingers at someone and saying “Bang, I shot you” automatically implies that he has been watching violent movies? I think you underestimate kids’ imagination if you think they couldn’t make up such a simple scenario themselves. And imagination is not something to be scared of.

    I also think we should stop interfering so much in our kids’ play. It should be free play and they should be allowed to make their own rules and not depend on adults to tell them what is rude and what not. The only time an adult should intervene is when there is some form of abuse going on, be it physical or emotional. That’s when kids should be counseled on appropriate behaviour. Other than that they should be given the freedom to decide for themselves what is acceptable.

    I have seen firsthand with my daughter that too much intervention from the teacher only results in the kids becoming totally unable and unwilling to resolve their own conflicts, which is counter-productive and doesn’t help anyone.

  35. lihtox January 29, 2013 at 7:20 pm #

    What kids think of as scary isn’t straightforward at all. My 5-year-old had a fear of the number 8 for a while, wouldn’t go into her room if there was an 8 on the clock; would this teacher advise that they stop the counting lesson at 7? On the other hand, she cheerfully talks about a time when I (or she, or her mother) will be dead, or how the sun will go supernova one day and wipe out the Earth.

    Bogus excuse, principal, try again.

  36. Yan Seiner January 29, 2013 at 7:31 pm #

    I’m on the fence on this one. Having witnessed some seriously violent children – like the 5 year old who was hitting and shoving everyone at a Chucky Cheese, and when I told him to stop he took a couple of swipes at me and then tried to punch my pregnant wife in the stomach – I wonder if this wasn’t something like that.

    Kids playing at guns is one thing. Kids making gun shapes and threatening to shoot non-players, or puppies, or whatever is another. If this particular kid had that kind of history, then maybe it’s justified. I’ve seen kids not much older than this at pet shops pretending to shoot and kick puppies. This is behavior that shows problems at home. But how are schools supposed to monitor the home environment?

    Also, consider the source. I don’t consider Fox to be reasonable when it comes to stuff like this; they have a pro-gun anti-school agenda and aren’t shy about promoting it. They’re the ones who sued and got a legal opinion that they can lie while pretending to claim it’s “news” so I want independent corroboration of anything I see on a Fox affiliate.

  37. hineata January 29, 2013 at 8:07 pm #

    @Warren : “No, Johnny, they did not use 50 Cal machine guns. They used their words, to make the Nazis give up.”

    Priceless!

  38. AW13 January 29, 2013 at 8:33 pm #

    @Ophelia: You honestly can’t think of a way that a kid would be imagining gun play without exposure to violent media? Submitted for your approval: A young boy grows up with a father and grandfather who target shoot. He goes with them to buy ammunition and helps to clean the guns. He is not exposed to violent movies or television. He is exposed to trusted male role models, to whom he looks up, using guns responsibly for their personal enjoyment. In this scenario, I can easily envision a situation in which a kid might engage in gun play without having been previously exposed to brutality.

    @Yan: I find your experiences with the kid at Chuck E. Cheese disturbing – that is a child with anger issues. And it always bothers me when a kid is mean to animals, even in mimicry. I’ve read that if a child (say, 3 or older), shows no empathy for smaller creatures (babies or animals), it is indicative of attachment issues and a huge red flag for further (and increasingly) antisocial behavior. I’m curious – regarding Chuck E Cheese kid, did his parent(s) know and/or say anything? I ran into an antisocial kid once, and when my kid alerted me that there was a problem, I sat in the play area and monitored the goings on while the rest of the family ate (kiddo was 3 at the time, this kid was about 7). I didn’t witness anything, so I didn’t say anything to the parents, but while passing my friend on the way out of the restaurant, mean kid’s mom whispered “I’m sorry about that” to my friend. Not to me – she wouldn’t even make eye contact with me – and she sure didn’t say anything to her kid – but she timidly said something to my friend. It infuriated me! (And of course, her kid wasn’t made to apologize for anything.)

  39. Yan Seiner January 29, 2013 at 8:49 pm #

    @AW13: It’s been so long ago that I don’t remember… The father was there, and witnessed the child’s behavior, but I don’t remember him doing anything.

    As far as the target shooting goes, my kids are taught to never, ever, under any circumstances to play with guns. They both shoot, quite well, but they don’t engage in “gun games”.

    I would hope a responsible gun owning parent would teach responsible behavior, and I would expect a child who is brought up around responsible gun owners to play less at these sorts of gun games than one who is not.

  40. CrazyCatLady January 29, 2013 at 8:50 pm #

    Before I read ANY comments, yes, 5 year old boys DO make everything and anything into weapons. No matter how many times you tell them not to. Any principal with any brains and experience with kids would know this. And a wake up call to the principal and parents – NO kid is ever scared of a finger gun or one made out of Legos made by a 5 year old.

  41. Jenna K. January 29, 2013 at 9:04 pm #

    To what other five-year-olds is a gun made with fingers OR Legos a scary experience? Five-year-olds who have never been around other human beings before? Or exposed to anything but Baby Einstein?

    Every time another kid gets suspended for a finger gun or something like this, my husband dares our kids to do the exact same thing at school and see what happens. Really, he does. Because it’s just so stupid.

    And just to add–my 1-year-old makes guns with his fingers and gun noises already. Yes, that is the life of a toddler boy with three older brothers—they play guns all the time. We don’t even have toy guns, but they make them out of paper towel tubes, Legos, paper even. And when they don’t have that, they use their hands. Any kid that is afraid of that must have some serious issues.

  42. Jenna K. January 29, 2013 at 9:06 pm #

    @AW13–My kids are not exposed to anything violent, but they have been target shooting with their dad. Hence the guns. Kids don’t have to be exposed to violence to know about guns. Guns are not always used in a violent way.

  43. Jim January 29, 2013 at 9:11 pm #

    I don’t understand the problem here. If schools are entirely anti-life and irrational, shouldn’t all children be so lucky as to be expelled?

  44. AW13 January 29, 2013 at 9:31 pm #

    @Yan: To me, there is a difference between “playing with guns” – as in, you never, ever, play with a real gun – and “playing guns”, where you pick up sticks, or use your fingers and say “bang bang” at your friends. Most young kids I’ve known engage in the latter; the kids of responsible gun owners (at least the ones I know) never engage in the former and, as you suggested, treat real guns and real shooting with far more respect. But as for imaginary gun play, I’ve not noticed an appreciable difference between the young kids of gun owners and young kids of non-gun owners. (I have noticed a slight difference between boys and girls, but that is another topic altogether.)

    @Jenna: That was my point – kids do not have to be exposed to anything violent to be interested in guns, or to mimic the adults they are around using imaginary guns.

  45. Captain America January 29, 2013 at 10:21 pm #

    My oh my! You guys talking about having Lego guns as a child make me feel so old! Legos were an exotic toy I received only bits of when I was about 12; a little too old for that. We had cheap metal cap guns with the red paper caps. Fun to bust the caps with a baseball bat or those little metal throw-up birdies. Can you buy caps nowadays?

  46. Tinabear January 29, 2013 at 10:42 pm #

    As a school nurse, I learned the following lesson long ago: Put a 5 year old boy in an empty room with 2 coat hangers and he will come out with a gun and a car.

  47. catspaw73 January 29, 2013 at 10:47 pm #

    Huh, kids play imaginary games, often incorporating elements common in their culture, and given that the US is portrayed to the rest of the world (rightly or wrongly) as a nation of gun lovers with guns everywhere (to contrast, cops in New Zealand are not normally armed), I’d say his play is culturally appropriate, and the principal should get over himself :-)

  48. Gina January 29, 2013 at 10:48 pm #

    @Rob C–Love it! I am a preschool teacher and if a child comes to me saying another child is scaring him/her with a pretend weapon or a lion’s roar, I say “Play somewhere else.”

  49. ifsogirl January 29, 2013 at 11:17 pm #

    Does anyone else find it ironic, that a country that is fighting to keep the second amendment and the right to carry guns in public at all times, that children playing with guns is a bad scary thing?

    That it’s shocking for a little boy to make a gun out of lego, play with a toy gun or make a gun shape with his hand is funy as all get out to me. In a country that has a noisy populaton yelling From My Cold Dead Hands takes a zero stance policy with 5 year olds is laughable. What a confusing message being sent to children, don’t you think?

  50. Charla January 29, 2013 at 11:22 pm #

    20-something years ago my son’s friend’s little brother, 4, was infatuated with guns. His mother took all the toy guns away, as she was radically against guns. EVERY finger, stick, handle, anything that the child could dream into a gun then became a gun. He really became obsessed with them when his mother made such a big deal of it.

    As little as 60 yrs. ago kids in rural schools took real guns to school for group instruction and target practice. And, as far as I can research, nobody got hurt. They learned a healthy respect for what bullets can do.

  51. Charla January 29, 2013 at 11:27 pm #

    In reference to my above post, in those days, life was held SACRED. Actor Samuel L. Jackson noted recently that he grew up in the South and that guns were everywhere and they never shot anyone. He went on to say about the Sandy Hook shooting, “This is about people who aren’t taught the value of life.”

  52. Jenny Islander January 30, 2013 at 12:28 am #

    @Charla: Riflery is still an extracurricular in rural schools in my district and there is some talk about bringing it back here, partly to counteract the hoo-uh shoot-em-up assault rifle fetishism in computer games. As recently as 20 years ago, urban kids still came to school with rifles racked in the back windows of their pickup trucks, and the only things the administration had to say are, “Is that your dad’s [expensive and probably needed for getting food] gun and if so does he know you have it? Is it unloaded? Can you prove that? [They didn’t care if there was ammo in the truck–but they cared very much if somebody was driving along our notoriously bumpy roads with ammo in a firearm in a window rack!] Do you keep your truck locked at all times?”

  53. bmommyx2 January 30, 2013 at 2:03 am #

    OMG will the insanity ever end?

  54. Aimee January 30, 2013 at 10:28 am #

    (Begin “ironic font” here)

    See, what they really need is fewer blasters, and more lightsabres. Because I would bet that just about every adult involved with the school (teacher, parent, administrator) has seen the original 1977 Star Wars (and if they haven’t, they’ve been living under a rock). Who dares to argue with Master Obiwan Kenobi’s description of lightsabres: “Not as clumsy or random as a blaster. An elegant weapon, for a more civilized age.”

    And how many THOUSANDS of years have children played with pretend swords, praytell???

  55. Aimee January 30, 2013 at 10:32 am #

    @lihtox – I was terrified of Mr. Snuffleupagus when I was about 5 (for real). My mother lobbied Congress for a ban on all anthropomorphic woolly mammoths on television (kidding).

  56. Ann January 30, 2013 at 10:39 am #

    Were these administrators never 5 years old themselves? Is there any 5 year old little boy who hasn’t made a stick or ruler or pencil into a gun? That’s just part of being a 5 year old boy, right? GAH!!!

  57. EricS January 30, 2013 at 11:50 am #

    For the simple fact that adults, specifically the teachers and principal of this school, are already putting fears in these children’s heads by doing the very thing they are trying to avoid. By the principals reasoning, they should be suspended as well. Paranoia at it’s best/worse. Dumb adults. When will they ever grow up? Children don’t fear like adults, they take cue from us. So if we tell them lego guns, or making your fingers into are bad and dangerous, of course they are going to fear it. If we tell them bunny rabbits are dangerous and will kill them, they’re going to believe that as well. For educators, these people are very stupid. Children are extremely impressionable at that age, you instill in them the wrong things, that’s what they will see as “normal”. Adults mess up kids without ever realizing it. All because of their own selfish needs and views.

  58. lollipoplover January 30, 2013 at 12:47 pm #

    Lego guns, paper guns, the dangers in schools these days amazes me…

    http://www.foxnews.com/us/2013/01/26/philadelphia-school-district-defends-decision-to-scold-search-student-over/

  59. R. Lee January 30, 2013 at 1:30 pm #

    I’m just gonna put this thought out here; hope it doesn’t upset anyone. Could it be that this kid has figured out that anything having to do with guns makes the adults lose their heads and he’s just messing with them?

  60. Holly January 30, 2013 at 2:36 pm #

    So, let me make sure I’m understanding this. In other articles that have come out in the past week, we’re being told that not only must our kids be subjected to terror drills in school that involve full on SWAT team invasions & live firing of blanks “so the students will know what a gun sounds like”. In those articles school district officials dismiss parents concerns about the psychological effects these experiences will have on their children.

    However, in the article below when it’s regarding a 5-year-oldo makes a lego gun in after school care, “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.”

    Some things are too weird to make up folks!

  61. SKL January 30, 2013 at 3:59 pm #

    R. Lee, yes, I have thought of that too. The child is too young to understand the repercussions of this choice. What a headache for the parents.

    My own kid (age 6) has made some foolish choices at school and gotten some irrational reactions as well. It is so frustrating because as a parent, I cannot control the situation. I can talk to her, discipline her, bla bla bla, but ultimately she’s going to do what her impulsive, immature, 6-year-old mind thinks is a good idea at the moment. The school needs to work with her where she’s at, or she’ll never improve her school behavior.

    I am concerned to see a trend of adult caregivers thinking that they can shape a young child’s personality by imposing suspensions and terrorizing parents. It doesn’t work that way. To get this child to act appropriately in after-school care, the after-school care folks have to work with him, i.e., guide him with age-appropriate incentives. How is he gonna learn to act in school if he isn’t at school?

  62. SKL January 30, 2013 at 4:05 pm #

    And the other thing is that they focus on the symbolism of “a weapon” instead of the more pertinent issue of violence. When my nephew (then 14) was involved in a fight with another boy – a boy who had a history of discipline problems, whereas my nephew had none – my nephew got suspended for 6 months because when he “hit” the other boy, there was something (totally non-dangerous) in his hand. He did no damage to the other boy, but admitted to having this little piece of rubber in his hand. The other boy merely used his fists and blackened my nephew’s eyes. Mr. Fist did not get a suspension. Does this seriously make any sense?

  63. Rae January 30, 2013 at 4:57 pm #

    I have a kindergartener and while I think it’s ridiculous to be suspended for the lego gun, I also have to agree with Ophelia that it’s rude to point guns and shoot at people who don’t want to play the game, in thte same vien that it’s rude to ‘tag’ someone when they weren’t in the tag game. If it were my son, I’d be saying look kid, grow some social skills and find asomeone to play with you, let practice, this is how we ask someone to play. He’s 5, maybe he didn’t go to preschool, maybe he doesn’t have lots of playmates… it sounds like he doesn’t know how to initiate play in a approprate way. And for other kids in in class, they might not be able to move away from someone annoying or startling them with rowdy play of any nature. That said, I think that suspension isn’t going to help him learn the social skills he might be lacking. Natural consequences of being an asshole at school might, but now it seems like merely not wanting to be someone’s friend is considered ‘bullying’. My son was told in kindergarten: “we don’t have special friends in kindergarten, we are friends with everyone”…. I was like- seriously?

  64. Warren January 30, 2013 at 9:38 pm #

    Just to be clear Rae, you are saying that the boy is in the wrong, and should be dealt with, just not by a suspension?

  65. MJ Witt January 31, 2013 at 11:12 am #

    Heard this related story in on the radio today about a girl getting 10 days suspension (initially, now down to 2), but not even having the gun, just talking about having the gun … which was a pink plastic bubble making Hello Kitty gun.

    http://bit.ly/13Nu0QF

    Apparently she said she was going to shoot her friend (with bubbles), then herself. Of course as anyone would (??!!) the school labeled her activity terrorist in nature. As we all know, Hello Kitty products are the hidden “go to” items for terrorists the world over.

    ::sigh::

  66. R. Lee January 31, 2013 at 12:20 pm #

    @skl Yeah; that’s just it. Kids push boundaries. They HAVE to push boundaries. They’d never learn how to behave, or learn hardly ANYTHING, if they didn’t. I wish more adults would remember that it’s exactly how they learned when they were kids.

    And about your son, just unbelievable the other kid walked away with no punishment. Siiigh… Makes you think real hard about homeschooling your kids doesn’t it? But then, how else would he learn how to deal with insane adults later in life?

  67. Highwayman February 1, 2013 at 1:23 am #

    “BANG! BANG! You’re Dead!
    Fifty Bullets in your Head!
    Brush your Teeth and go to Bed”

    –love that childhood poetry.

    One part I do not remember is this: what were the hand gestures and words that lead up to the poem (and us kids metaphorically shooting each other).

    I’m afflicted with recalling only the poetry but not the game. *sigh* :(

    I was 10 or 11 years old at the time, and my sister was 4 or 5 years old then. We played that game for months and months and months…..