Culture

Kindergartner Suspended for Bringing a Clear, Plastic Bubble-Soap Gun to School

(Image via Denver7/Twitter)
It also had a picture of a princess on it.

A five-year-old girl was suspended from Southeast Elementary School in Brighton, Colo. on Monday for bringing a clear, plastic bubble-soap gun with a picture of a princess on it to school with her because it violated the school’s “weapons policy.”

“They said that it was a fake weapon and that I needed to come get her,” the girl’s mother, who asked to have her identity concealed, told local news source Denver7.

The mother said the school told her that the toy violated Adams County School District’s “zero-tolerance” weapons policy, and so therefore her daughter would have to be suspended for a day.

Now, this is clearly pretty crazy, but Denver7 reports that a district spokesman released a statement insisting that the school had done the right thing:

“This suspension is consistent with our district policy as well as how Southeast has handled similar situations throughout this school year,” the statement read.

Um, really? Because, if you look at the policy itself, what it prohibits is “[c]arrying, using, actively displaying or threatening with the use of a firearm facsimile that could reasonably be mistaken for an actual firearm on district property.”

Yes — “reasonably mistaken.” Now, the kids in this girl’s class may be five-year-olds, but I’m pretty doggone sure that not even they would ever look at this “gun” — a translucent, plastic, colorful toy with a picture of a princess on it and bubbles coming out of it — and mistake it for a weapon. What’s more, the policy allows administrators to evaluate violations of the weapons policy on “a case-by-case basis to determine whether suspension, expulsion or any other disciplinary action is appropriate.”

#share#So, this school, having the power to decide what to do on a “case-by-case-basis,” looked at this plastic bubble machine and decided that what was “appropriate” to do in the plastic-bubble-machine “case” was to suspend a kindergartner?

#related#Spoiler alert: Bubbles aren’t harmful. But you know what could be? The kind of humiliation you have to deal with when you’re thrown out of school in front of your peers. In fact, the mother told Denver7 that on Monday night her daughter was begging her to be allowed to stay home the next day — even offering to help clean the house — so that she didn’t have to go back to school after what had happened.

According to an e-mail to Denver7 from district spokesman Kevin Denke, kids at Southeast Elementary have been suspended for bringing Nerf guns to the school in the past.

— Katherine Timpf is a reporter for National Review Online

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