In a classic example of zero-tolerance policy, a 5-year-old Colorado girl has been suspended from school for bringing a bubble gun to her class.
Southeast Elementary School in Brighton said the plastic bubble maker, which contained a Frozen-themed detergent bottle, posed a security threat to students and suspended the little girl for one day.
The school then phoned the girl’s mother, identified only as Emma, to pick up her suspended daughter.
Emma said she would never knowingly have allowed her daughter to bring the toy to school but the little girl had put it in her backpack without telling her.
"I apologized right away and said that I am so sorry she did that,” said Emma. “I appreciate that they're trying to keep our kids safe, I really do. But there needs to be some common sense. It blows bubbles.”
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But the Adams County School District not only refused to offer an apology for their overreaction but also proudly stated they have served the same punishment over similar incidents previously.
“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,” said the school statement. “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.”
However, district police do not necessarily support the suspension and said “discretionary discipline” can be used if a student shows a fake gun that could “reasonably be mistaken for an actual firearm.”
But, as can be seen below, the colorful plastic toy does not even remotely look like an actual weapon.
Emma has said it was absurd to send her daughter home over a bubble gun and now harbors an understandable worry that the recorded incident might affect her daughter’s future at the school.
In a similar instant, a Pennsylvanian first-grader was threatened with expulsion after he admitted to accidentally bringing a plastic gun to school.
Throwing innocent children out of the classroom for honest mistakes is hardly an effective way to enhance security and will scarcely teach children to follow rules in the future.