Fifth Grader Suspended For Making Gun With Fingers
Another little boy has gotten in trouble at school for having something that primitively, comically represents a gun but isn’t actually anything like a real gun.
This time, the student is Nickolas Taylor, a fifth grader at Stacy Middle School in the distant Boston suburb of Milford.
The 10-year-old boy’s crime was to make the universal sign for a gun with his thumb and forefinger and point at two girls in the cafeteria lunch line last Friday, local NBC affiliate WHDH reports.
Taylor said he wasn’t pointing his make-believe gun at the girls or anyone else, but just generally pretending to “shoot” with his forefinger and thumb.
Whatever the case, after the event, Taylor blew air on the nonexistent gun, as if to cool off smoke. There wasn’t really any smoke.
Despite the fact that nothing real happened, assistant principal Noah Collins wrote the boy up, labeling his actions as “a threat.” Collins then suspended the kid for two days.
Brian Taylor, the boy’s father, disagrees with the suspension.
“I think this is very slanderous toward Nickolas and his character,” the elder Taylor told The Milford Daily News. “It was non-threatening. He’s just a typical boy with an imagination.”
The boy’s grandmother, Linda O’Brien, agreed.
“It was absolutely ridiculous,” she told WHDH. “Nickolas is a sweet little boy that was just standing in line at lunch playing with his hands.”
She described her grandson’s actions as “typical little boy behavior.”
“His dad made sure to let him know he’s not famous, he was wronged,” O’Brien added. “This shouldn’t have happened.”
The boy’s father noted that Nickolas has been diagnosed with ADHD, and that he bring a lot of energy — sometimes too much energy — to the school environment. However, the father said his son has a clean disciplinary record. To the extent the boy has gotten in trouble, it has been for failing to complete his schoolwork.
“He’s confused as to why he got suspended,” the dad told the local newspaper. “He doesn’t realize he did something wrong.”
Collins, the assistant principal, as well as principal Nancy Angelini and the local school district superintendent refused to speak with the Daily News.
Despite the father’s pleas, Collins has refused to lift the suspension.
This incident is the latest incident of anti-gun hysteria to erupt in a school setting. There have been many others in recent months.
An interesting, parallel incident occurred on a few weeks ago on Halloween when University of Nebraska–Lincoln political science professor John Gruhl put on a Dick Cheney mask and a bright orange hunting vest and use an imaginary rifle to shoot students all the way across his classroom. (VIDEO: Professor Dons Dick Cheney Mask, PRETENDS TO SHOOT STUDENTS IN CLASS)
Gruhl, a grown man, does not appear to have suffered at all for his imaginary slaughter. The professor has thus fared considerably better than several kids in taxpayer-funded public schools who have found themselves in very serious trouble for exactly the same thing.
In January 2013, for example, a six-year-old boy at Roscoe R. Nix Elementary School in Silver Spring, Md. was suspended for making the universal kid sign for a gun, pointing at another student and saying “pow.” That boy’s suspension was later lifted and his name cleared. (RELATED: Pow! You’re Suspended, Kid)
A month later, a seven-year-old boy in Colorado got suspended because he lobbed a pretend grenade — probably heroically far — toward make-believe bad guys on the playground during recess. (RELATED: Seven-Year-Old Boy Lobs Pretend Grenade During Recess, Gets Suspended)
Also last year, school officials at D. Newlin Fell School in Philadelphia yelled at a student and then searched her in front of her class after she was found with a paper gun her grandfather had made for her. (RELATED: Paper Gun Causes Panic)
In May 2013, a second-grade teacher in Colorado filed a behavioral report on a boy after he drew a picture of a gun because she instructed him to go outside, look up at the clouds and draw what he saw. (RELATED: Teacher Asks Second Graders To Draw What They See In Clouds, Boy Sees Gun, Teacher WRITES UP BOY)
The same month, school officials at Dowell Elementary School in Lusby, Md. allegedly interrogated a kindergartener for more than two hours after the boy brought a plastic, orange-tipped cowboy-style cap gun on a school bus because he “really, really” wanted his friend to see it. Worried sick about the pop gun, school officials called the boy’s mother. By the time she arrived, he had wet his pants. (RELATED: Kindergartener Interrogated Over Cap Gun Until He Pees His Pants, Then Suspended 10 Days)
In March 2013, school officials at Park Elementary School in Baltimore, Md. suspended an eight-year-old boy because he nibbled his strawberry breakfast pastry into something resembling a gun. School district officials later refused to remove the incident from the boy’s permanent academic record. (RELATED: Second Grader Suspended For Having Breakfast Pastry Shaped Like A Gun)
Another anti-gun hysteria story from last school year took place in rural Pennsylvania involving a kindergarten girl who was suspended after she told another girl that she planned to shoot her with a pink Hello Kitty toy gun that bombards targets with soapy bubbles. The kindergartener also had to submit to psychological testing before she could return to school. (RELATED: Kindergartener Suspended For Making ‘Terroristic Threat’ With Hello Kitty Bubble Gun)