In the latest incident of anti-gun hysteria to erupt in a school setting, a kindergarten boy has been suspended from school for 10 days because he showed a friend his cowboy-style cap gun on the way to school.
The incident happened on Wednesday morning at about 8:30 a.m. on a school bus in Calvert County, Maryland, reports The Washington Post.
The kindergartener had brought the toy gun because his friend had brought a water gun the previous day. He later told his mother than he “really, really” wanted his friend to see it.
The suspended boy had acquired the menacing, plastic, orange-tipped weapon at Frontier Town, a western-themed campground with a water park, mini golf and the like.
School officials at Dowell Elementary School in the town of Lusby proceeded to question the five-year-old for over two hours before finally calling his mother, whom The Post also does not name.
The principal eventually called the boy’s mother at 10:50 a.m. By that time, the five-year-old had wet his pants (which the mother called highly unusual).
The principal told the boy’s mother that the boy had simulated shooting someone on the bus with the offending novelty. However, both the boy and his older sister, a first-grader, say the principal is not telling the truth.
The Post explains that the principal — Jennifer L. Young, according to Dowell Elementary’s website — told the kindergartener’s mother that things would have been even worse had the toy gun been loaded with caps. In that case, the school would have regarded the plaything as an explosive and called the police.
“I have no problem that he had a consequence to his behavior,” the mother told the Post. “What I have a problem with is the severity.”
The mother is also upset about the trauma her son experienced without her knowledge.
“Why were we not immediately contacted?” she asked
The 10-day suspension is officially for possessing a look-alike gun, notes the Post. If the suspension is not lifted, the kindergartener won’t be able to go to school the rest of the year. The suspension will also be part of his permanent academic record.
The family has hired an attorney, Robin Ficker, who has managed to become something of a national legal expert in amazing overreactions by school officials over things that aren’t actual guns.
Ficker appealed the suspension on the family’s behalf on Thursday. On Friday, there will be a disciplinary conference.
The attorney noted that the the boy’s age is an essential factor when considering the punishment and the school’s actions.
“Kids play cowboys and Indians,” Ficker told The Post. “They play cops and robbers. You’re talking about a little five-year-old here.”
This incident is the second incident of anti-gun hysteria to erupt in a school setting in as many weeks. There have been many others over the course of this academic year as well.
A six-year-old boy was punished because he took a plastic Lego gun roughly the size of a quarter on a school bus headed to Old Mill Pond Elementary School in Palmer, Mass. (RELATED: Kindergartener gets detention, forced to apologize for tiny Lego gun)
An eighth-grader in West Virginia was suspended and, astonishingly, arrested after he refused to remove a t-shirt supporting the National Rifle Association returned to school on Monday. The courageous 14-year-old then returned to school wearing exactly the same shirt, which depicts a hunting rifle with the statement “protect your right.” (RELATED: Eighth-grader arrested over NRA shirt returns to school in same shirt)
Officials at an elementary school in small-town Michigan impounded a third-grader boy’s batch of 30 homemade birthday cupcakes because they were adorned with green plastic figurines representing World War Two soldiers. The school principal branded the military-themed cupcakes “insensitive” in light of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting. (RELATED: School confiscates third-grader’s cupcakes topped with toy soldiers)
At Genoa-Kingston Middle School in northeast Illinois, a teacher threatened an eighth-grader with suspension if he did not remove his t-shirt emblazoned with the interlocking rifles insignia of the United States Marines. (RELATED: Junior high teacher tells kid to remove Marines t-shirt or get suspended)
At Park Elementary School in Baltimore, Maryland, a student was suspended for two days because his teacher thought he shaped a strawberry, pre-baked toaster pastry into something resembling a gun. (RELATED: Second-grader suspended for having breakfast pastry shaped like a gun)
At Poston Butte High School in Arizona, a high school freshman was suspended for setting a picture of a gun as the desktop background on his school-issued computer. (RELATED: Freshman suspended for picture of gun)
At D. Newlin Fell School in Philadelphia, school officials reportedly 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 rural Pennsylvania, a kindergarten girl 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. (RELATED: Kindergartener suspended for making ‘terroristic threat’ with Hello Kitty bubble gun)
At Roscoe R. Nix Elementary School in Maryland, a six-year-old boy 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)