Another little boy has gotten in trouble at a taxpayer-funded public school for having something – or, in this case, drawing something – that represents a gun but isn’t actually anything remotely approaching a real gun.
This week, 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.
The incident unfolded at Talbott Elementary School in Colorado Springs, reports local CBS affiliate KKTV.
“Draw a picture of what you see in the clouds from your imagination,” 8-year-old Kody said, describing the teacher’s assignment.
“And that picture is a gun,” he added, proudly pointing to the gun he drew — based on the cloud he saw.
Kody’s cloud portrayal was deemed wrong by his unidentified teacher, who marched him into the office and then filed the behavior report.
The boy’s crime, according to the behavioral report, was exhibiting behavior that is disruptive to the learning community at Talbott Elementary.
Kody’s parents were not pleased.
“It hurts,” father Jeff Smith told KKTV. “It hurts that he was so scared for being penalized for his imagination.”
The boy’s mother, Angel Rivers, flatly told the station she believes her son did nothing wrong.
In the image attached to this story, the drawing on the right is Kody’s drawing. The image on the left is not the cloud he saw. It’s just one of a dime-a-dozen fluffy clouds on earth that might look like a gun to an imaginative eight-year-old boy.
School district officials have promised the frustrated parents that the behavioral report will not show up on Kody’s permanent academic record. They also issued a statement proclaiming that they “exercised an age-appropriate reaction to an incident.”
Last year’s national frenzy of school officials suspending kids as young as kindergarten for having stuff that represents a gun, but isn’t actually anything close to a real gun, has slowed down this year.
In November, an Arizona couple pulled their 8-year-old son out of a charter school 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 impressively-drawn figures are clutching guns and knives. (RELATED: Principal Threatens To Expel Third-Grader Over These Awesome Drawings)
In September, a Rhode Island seventh grader with a perfect school attendance record made the mistake of bringing a tiny, silver keychain shaped like a gun to his middle school. The two-inch keychain fell out of his backpack. A teacher impounded the roughly quarter-sized hunk of cheap metal. School officials sprang into action, suspending the boy for three days. (RELATED: Insanity: seventh-grader suspended three days for gun keychain the size of a quarter)
Last school year, school officials all over the nation were swept up in an epidemic of anti-gun hysteria involving things that somehow resemble guns but aren’t actually real guns.
In May 2013, school officials at Dowell Elementary School in Lusby, Md. allegedly interrogated a kindergartener for over 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 April 2013, an eighth grader in West Virginia was suspended and, astonishingly, arrested after he refused to remove a t-shirt supporting the National Rifle Association. 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.” Prosecutors later dropped the charges. (RELATED: Eighth-grader arrested over NRA shirt returns to school in same shirt)
In March 2013, school officials at Park Elementary School in Baltimore, Md. suspended an 8-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)
Also in March, 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 “insensitive” plastic figurines representing World War Two soldiers. (RELATED: School Confiscates Third-Grader’s Cupcakes Topped With Toy Soldiers)
In February, a 7-year-old boy 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)
In January 2013, 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)
Also in January, a six-year-old boy at Roscoe R. Nix Elementary School in Silver Spring, Maryland 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)
Another January anti-gun hysteria story 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)