A 5-year-old old girl was suspended for making a “terroristic threat” last week after chatting with classmates about shooting a gun. The weapon in question? A Hello Kitty bubble gun that blows soapy bubbles.
The Mount Carmel, Pennsylvania kindergartener received a 10 day suspension that was later reduced to two days, reports CNN. Mount Carmel Area Elementary School principal Susan Nestico also changed the categorization of the incident from a “terroristic threat” to a "threat to harm others."
The school requested that the girl speak with a professional counselor, which she did two days after the incident, according to CNN. In a letter, the counselor wrote that the girl was a “typical 5-year-old” who did not appear to have risk factors identified with violent behavior.
"It would also seem that (she) had no harmful or predatory intent in the comments she made to her friends about the bubble 'gun' but did not recognize the heightened sensitivity and awareness of her friends and the response that may result from her comments," wrote the counselor.
School officials, however, remain unmoved.
“Although by law we cannot officially comment on the specifics of the incident involving the students, we are confident that much of the information supplied to the media may not be consistent with the facts in this matter,” said a statement from the school. “The [school district] has investigated the issue and will continue to do so.”
According to the family’s attorney Robin Ficker, the girl’s family aims to have the school apologize and take the suspension off her record, in part so that she can transfer to a different school, reports CNN. Ficker and the girl’s family are scheduled to meet with school officials on January 30.
Did the school officials go too far in suspending the girl, or did they act responsibly? Leave a comment.