An Ohio 10-year-old was suspended from school for three days because he pointed his finger at another student, which violated the school’s prohibition of “lookalike weapons.”
Nathan Entingh is a fifth grader at Devonshire Alternative Elementary School in Columbus, Ohio. He was playing with a friend when he moved his hand in the shape of a gun and fired a pretend shot.
The school has a zero tolerance policy against weapons–both real and imaginary–and opted to suspend Entingh for three days.
Jeff Warner, a spokesperson for the school district, described the imaginary shooting as “kind of execution style.”
His father, Paul Entingh, was furious — but not at Nathan.
“It would even make more sense maybe if he brought a plastic gun that looked like a real gun or something, but it was his finger,” said the elder Entingh in a statement to The Columbus Dispatch.
A three day suspension over a harmless gesture is ridiculous, he said.
Zero tolerance school punishments have become a staple of American elementary education. Such punishments seemed to reach their zenith, however, with the disciplining of a kid who chewed his pop tart into the shape of a gun. The case attracted furious media scrutiny, and since then, state legislators have moved to ease up on zero tolerance policies. (RELATED: ‘Pop-Tart Gun Bill’ is healing the partisan divide)
Indeed, the Ohio legislature is considering such a bill.
In the meantime, Entingh has three days to think about what he did.
“I was thinking it was dumb,” he said contemplatively.