The Short of It
Another day, another silly school suspension.
A Colorado kindergartener was suspended from school for one day because she brought a bubble-blowing gun to play with during indoor recess.
"I appreciate that they're trying to keep our kids safe; I really do," the little girl's mom told local news station ABC 7. "But there needs to be some common sense. It blows bubbles."
Apparently, the mom, who requested her identity be concealed due to privacy concerns, hadn't realized her daughter had put the toy in her backpack Monday morning before heading off to school. But when she found out, "I apologized right away," she said, and since the incident, her daughter has been so upset she has asked to stay home to help clean house instead of going to school.
"It's a shame because it's the end of the school year, and it's kind of ending on a bad note now, and she didn't deserve that," she explained. "She didn't deserve a punishment like that."
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But Southeast Elementary School in Brighton, Colo., disagreed, and it has since released the following statement:
"While we hear and understand the parents of this student being concerned about this discipline in light of the student's age and type of item, this suspension is consistent with our district policy as well as how Southeast has handled similar situations throughout this school year. This has involved similar situations where students have brought items such as Nerf guns to school and also received one-day suspensions. The bringing of weapons, real or facsimile, to our schools by students can not only create a potential safety concern but also cause a distraction for our students in the learning process. Our schools, particularly Southeast because of past instances with students bringing fake weapons to school, make a point of asking parents to be partners in making sure students are not bringing these items to school. This includes asking parents to check backpacks."
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There have been a ton of silly suspensions at schools across the country. There was the first grader who was suspended for making a gun gesture with his hand; the 5-year-old accused of making a terrorist threat after bringing in a pink "Hello Kitty" bubble gun; and a kid who was actually suspended for eating his pastry into a gun shape.
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I get that these schools all have a vested interest in keeping their students safe. But forcing kids to miss school for innocently bringing in something like a bubble gun seems way too harsh. A pair of classroom scissors—or even a sharpened pencil, for that matter—is way more of a weapon than any of these other items.
Where is the common sense?