The parents of a 6-year-old in Maryland are fighting his suspension last month for making a gun gesture with his hand, aiming his fingers at a classmate and saying, “Pow.”
The first grader was suspended for one day (Dec. 21) for what school officials described as his threat to “shoot a student.”
Now, the boy’s family has enlisted legal help to file an appeal, asking that the incident be expunged from his school record.
The boy “had no intention to shoot anyone,” attorney Robin Ficker told the Washington Post.
“What they’re doing is looking at the worst possible interpretation of a young, naive 6-year-old, ” said Ficker. “This is a little child who can’t form the intent to do anything like that.”
She claims that school officials imposed the suspension in a knee-jerk reaction to the Newtown shootings.
The incident happened in a week when the country was still reeling from the horrific massacre that claimed the lives of 20 children and six staff members at Sandy Hook Elementary School.
While the tragedy makes it easy to understand why ALL threats of violence need to be taken seriously by school administrators, the flip side is that we’re talking about a 6-year-old. And “threatening to shoot someone” is a pretty serious mark on a student’s personal record, one that could have long-term fallout.
What would you do if you were his parent? Did school officials go too far or is it always better to be overly cautious?