Yet another student has landed in trouble for having something that represents a weapon, but isn’t actually anything remotely like a real weapon.
This time, an Arizona couple pulled their eight-year-old son out of a charter school last week after school officials threatened to expel the boy for his colorful drawings of a ninja, a soldier and a character from Star Wars. All three figures are clutching guns and knives.
The threatened expulsion occurred at Scottsdale Country Day School in the suburbs of Phoenix, reports local CBS affiliate KPHO.
The boy’s father, identified only as Jeff, said the three drawings represented his son’s Halloween costume options.
While Scottsdale Country Day might sound like a fancypants kind of place, it’s not. It’s a charter school that “has no admissions standards,” according to the school website.
Scottsdale Country Day’s principal Steve Prahcharov — who for some reason insists on calling himself the headmaster — called a meeting with Jeff to show him his third-grade son’s artwork and samples from a journal.
Prahcharov highlighted certain parts of the journal that he saw as dangerous. The phrases that deeply concerned Prahcharov include “PG-13 version” and “pointed stick.”
Jeff noted that his son’s journal also contained passages about how the boy wanted to save the planet. The third-grader wrote of his desire to deter bullets and prevent atomic warfare.
There was also an entry about fleeing from a killer zombie. As narrated by Jeff, an excerpt read: “I’d open the window, but, stand back quickly. Booby-trapped! Shoot the gadget — a rope gun — I’d swing across without getting hit.”
Prahcharov told Jeff that he worried about the safety of the other kids at the school in light of the drawings and these journal entries.
“In this situation, it’s actually the principal of the school that bullied the parents so much that we felt we couldn’t even be safe in that environment,” the frustrated father told KPHO.
“I think that we really send our children the wrong message when we show, as adults, we’re so afraid of our shadow that an innocent picture that any eight-year-old might have drawn is cause for this kind of concern,” he added.
The CBS affiliate notes that the Scottsdale Country Day School’s online student and parent handbook labels “drawings that depict weapons” as grounds for expulsion.
Officials at Scottsdale Country Day refused to comment.