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Overreaction to 6-year-old "shooting" classmate with his finger?

by Traci Schumacher on Thu, 01/03/2013 - 1:02pm

Did you see the news story today about a Maryland 6-year-old boy who was suspended from school for a day for making a “gun” with his thumb and forefinger and “shooting” a fellow student (http://news.yahoo.com/maryland-school-suspends-six-old-boy-making-gun-120614885.html)? Seriously. I think parents of boys everywhere should be very afraid if this is what things are coming to.

I don't know what it is with boys and guns, but it is. Even without toy guns, most boys will manage to create guns from sticks or pencils or their own fingers. They like to play that way. My sons love to “shoot” all kinds of bad guys. It drives my daughter and me crazy sometimes.

I realize there is a lot of heightened sensitivity right now in light of the Newtown school shooting. And I realize there is appropriate and inappropriate behavior for school. Sure, pretending to shoot a classmate with one's fingers may not have been a friendly or wise choice, but the boy is 6. I think suspension is a bit extreme.

Of course, if there are deeper, unreported issues involved in this story, then the punishment may be justifiable. But based on the story at hand, I'm afraid this is a sad case of a nervous, knee-jerk overreaction that threatens to turn an innocent childhood game into a permanent stain on a child's school record. A little common sense would be good here.

What do you think?

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