Bang! Boys suspended for pointing pencils

Two Virginia second graders were suspended for two days for making shooting noises while pointing pencils at each other. The two boys are 7 years old.

“When I asked him about it, he said, ‘Well I was being a Marine and the other guy was being a bad guy,’” said Paul Marshall, one of the boys’ fathers. “It’s as simple as that.”

The teacher wrote on the suspension note that the boy put down the pencil when asked, said Marshall, a former Marine.

Suffolk Public Schools spokeswoman Bethanne Bradshaw said the district has a zero-tolerance policy for weapons that includes pointing a finger or pencil in a threatening way and drawing a picture of a gun. “Some children would consider it threatening, who are scared about shootings in schools or shootings in the community,” Bradshaw said.

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  1. Honestly – could these kinds of teachers and administrators GET any stupider? I’ve been saying that for years and they prove me wrong every time. They are definitely getting stupider. Why do we put up with it?

    • could these kinds of teachers and administrators GET any stupider?

      Yes, but after proving Twain’s aphorism over and over for so long, they really have to work to plumb new depths.

    • Come on, with the commonness of this sort of thing a better explanation then widespread stupidity is needed.

      Anyone want to exert themselves a trifle and come up with a better hypothesis then “stupid” which, pardon me for being so poorly brought up as to notice the obvious, is really a celebration of the brilliance of everyone who wouldn’t have made the belabored decision were they in the administrator’s position.

      • J.D. Salinger says:

        Allen, This video seems to address your messge:

        • I invite everyone to click on the link provided by “J.D. Salinger” to better acquaint themselves with qualities typical of those who defend the educational status quo.

  2. Ruth Joy says:

    I’m not sure which is worse: the war on boys or the fact that whenever kids play good guys-beating-the-bad-guys they get in trouble. It’s sending the message that we don’t think much of heroes. Or that the good is not worth defending.

    • It’s also a refusal to accept the fact that there ARE bad guys, whether they’re terrorists or “ordinary” criminals. The same goes for bullying; the bullied kid who tries to fight back is punished as if he’s no different than the bully. Zero tolerance = zero thought + zero judgment + zero common-sense + zero justice.

    • Richard Aubrey says:

      Or that there may be a difference.

  3. So if they’d stabbed each other with the pencils yelling “Avast, Ye Maties! I’ll be sending ye to Davey Jone’s Locker!,” would that have been OK? Or would it have been traumatic to those worried about pirate raids on schools?

    Personally, I find that pretend guns cause fewer injuries than pretend swords.

    • If only there was some medication we could give small boys to get them to stop playing war games, none of this would be a problem….. They could just sit and pass MASH papers back and forth like girls.

    • momof4 says:

      Oh, I don’t know about that. My older kids had actual (homemade) wooden swords with their homemade Crusader costumes (adult-size white t shirt with stitched-on Crusader cross, plus ankle-length capes), one Halloween and no one ever got hurt – even though they raced around the neighborhood in costume for at least two years. Of course, Crusaders are now verboten; someone would get their feelings hurt.

  4. Richard Aubrey says:

    Two possibilities: One is the educrats really are as stupid as they look. I favor this one.
    However, it’s possible that the district’s legal counsel reminded them that “discretion” and “discrimination” have the same first five letters and it’s not an accident. Any discretion at all would open them to suits for discrimination.
    So let’s say they let this kid off with a warning like “it’s all fun until somebody loses an eye.”. Next week, some fourteen year old sixth grader who’s been held back for poor grades and assault on smaller kids but mostly for assault shows up with a kitana. The real kind. Admin tries to reason with him. Presto, Shyster and Shyster are suing for a bazillion dollars.
    Besides, butthead kids usually have butthead parents. Which ought to be a lesson to parents of non-butthead kids. The admin ought to fear you as much as they do the parents of the fourteen year old felon.

  5. “But Suffolk Public Schools spokeswoman Bethanne Bradshaw said a pencil is considered a weapon when it’s pointed at someone in a threatening way and gun noises are made.”

    When will we get some adult supervision for public school administrators?

  6. Richard Aubrey says:

    Read an interesting, if rueful, piece after 9-11. A mom whose six-year-old son was in the Right Sort of school, where tag was too aggressive and toy guns were too violent discovered something.
    The next day, 9-12, her son wanted his Spiderman tee shirt and said not to wait supper. He and his school buddy Jared had to save the world.