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Thu Jan 3, 2013, 09:36 AM

Boy, 6, suspended from Silver Spring school for pointing finger like a gun

Source: Washington Post

The parents of a 6-year-old Silver Spring boy are fighting the first-grader’s suspension from a Montgomery County public school for pointing his finger like a gun and saying “pow,” an incident school officials characterized in a disciplinary letter as a threat “to shoot a student.”

The first-grader was suspended for one day, Dec. 21. The family’s attorney filed an appeal Wednesday, asking that the incident be expunged from the boy’s school record amid concerns of long-term fallout.



Read more: http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/education/boy-6-suspended-from-silver-spring-school-for-pointing-finger-like-a-gun/2013/01/02/21acc8d4-54fc-11e2-8b9e-dd8773594efc_story.html?hpid=z5



Page B-1 on 3 Jan WPost. Can't put one over on Montgomery County - ban fingers until you pass a background check and take a safety course.

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Reply Boy, 6, suspended from Silver Spring school for pointing finger like a gun (Original post)
24601 Jan 2013 OP
bowens43 Jan 2013 #1
JackRiddler Jan 2013 #14
RobinA Jan 2013 #19
HisTomness Jan 2013 #33
Nine Jan 2013 #46
Android3.14 Jan 2013 #16
olegramps Jan 2013 #27
alfredo Jan 2013 #31
Kelvin Mace Jan 2013 #32
Jackpine Radical Jan 2013 #2
think Jan 2013 #3
marions ghost Jan 2013 #4
proud2BlibKansan Jan 2013 #5
plethoro Jan 2013 #6
askeptic Jan 2013 #7
Odin2005 Jan 2013 #8
tularetom Jan 2013 #9
cvoogt Jan 2013 #10
alp227 Jan 2013 #15
tradecenter Jan 2013 #11
Mnemosyne Jan 2013 #12
WestCoastLib Jan 2013 #13
MindPilot Jan 2013 #25
NYC_SKP Jan 2013 #38
MindPilot Jan 2013 #39
NYC_SKP Jan 2013 #40
Tempest Jan 2013 #17
elleng Jan 2013 #24
FiveGoodMen Jan 2013 #29
Tempest Jan 2013 #34
FiveGoodMen Jan 2013 #35
blackspade Jan 2013 #18
rightsideout Jan 2013 #20
JackRiddler Jan 2013 #21
marions ghost Jan 2013 #41
Third Doctor Jan 2013 #22
elleng Jan 2013 #23
ileus Jan 2013 #26
hughee99 Jan 2013 #28
Blandocyte Jan 2013 #43
NickB79 Jan 2013 #30
Fumesucker Jan 2013 #37
Baby Bear Jan 2013 #36
slackmaster Jan 2013 #44
Blandocyte Jan 2013 #42
Mdterp01 Jan 2013 #45
24601 Jan 2013 #47

Response to 24601 (Original post)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 09:47 AM

1. Good. We need to teach children that guns are evil and won't be tolerated.

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Response to bowens43 (Reply #1)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 11:49 AM

14. That is not what this insanity teaches.

It teaches that authority is arbitrary, unfair, panic-prone, inflexible, stupid, needlessly punitive, ignorant of context, cruel to children, and harsh. It teaches absolutely nothing about guns but something about moral hysteria.

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Response to JackRiddler (Reply #14)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 12:19 PM

19. After Columbine

when schools went nuts with zero tolerance for everything, I had the thought that the whole thing taught students one thing - that adults are stone stupid and have no idea how to protect them. Having been an anxious kid in my day, I'm glad I had the apparent delusion that the adults around me knew where the real danger was and how to protect me. In today's schools I would probably have been carted away to the pediatric rubber room in about second grade.

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Response to JackRiddler (Reply #14)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 02:45 PM

33. Careful, here...

It is easy to read the headline and assume that this was panicky foolishness. However, the other side of the story seems to be that the child had engaged in problematic behavior in the past, was told that it was unacceptable, and did it anyway. I'll agree that the action taken (suspension) was almost certainly too harsh, but let's bear in mind that, regardless of the gun context, this is, according to the school, a child who was misbehaving.

And before we make the assumption that he was playing cops and robbers or engaged in some other activity that we remember as innocent fun, we should also make room for the possibility that he walked up to a little girl in class, put a "gun" to her head (sideways in the gangster-style), and said pow. Now if my kid did that, I would deem it unacceptable and would discipline him appropriately. I don't know that that's how it happened, but it could well have, in which case I would agree that some measure of discipline was warranted - especially if he was already told that it was unacceptable.

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Response to HisTomness (Reply #33)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 10:57 PM

46. I think you've made some good and thoughtful points.

I also try to keep in mind whenever stories come out in the media about school incidents that the parents can claim whatever they want and the school has the disadvantage of not really being able to give their side of things without violating student privacy.

However, given all that, I still have a gut feeling that the school did overreact. My kindergartener is a bit obsessed with guns right now even though we don't have any. I worry that someday he'll get in trouble at school for incorporating imaginary guns into his play. It annoys me that I have to worry about that. Even though I'd guess that the child in this story went a bit farther than innocent play, a charge in his school records that he was making threats is still rather a serious consequence, and I'd probably try to fight it too if I were his parents.

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Response to bowens43 (Reply #1)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 11:58 AM

16. Golly, what a great response

Support your local thought police.

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Response to bowens43 (Reply #1)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 01:26 PM

27. Are you kidding? A six year old playing cowboys and Indians.

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Response to bowens43 (Reply #1)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 02:01 PM

31. I used to play army and other such games. I grew out of it. Most kids do too.

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Response to bowens43 (Reply #1)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 02:31 PM

32. Sorry, this is just silly

Not a big gun fan, but outlawing pointed fingers while allowing assault rifles just reeks of idiocy.

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Response to 24601 (Original post)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 09:51 AM

2. Jail the little bastard. Give him life behind bars.

Migod, we're gonna destroy our kids with insane overreactions like this.

I dunno if kids still play cowboys & Indians or play Army, but I can somehow just see some out-of-control SWAT team going in with guns blazing to re-take the playground.

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Response to 24601 (Original post)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 09:52 AM

3. Thinking how many times I'd been suspended as a child

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Response to 24601 (Original post)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 09:57 AM

4. So what do we expect?

--in a society saturated with guns and violence?

The kid may even know about the Sandy Hook incident and other school shootings. But even if he doesn't, it's in the culture. The kid knows that guns are one option in dealing with people you don't like.

I think the school did OK in expelling him for one day. That speaks to the kid that it's serious. After a period of better behavior, they can expunge it from his records I'm sure.

But seriously--this is what we have come to--because of the gun-driven insanity we are exposed to every day.

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Response to 24601 (Original post)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 10:00 AM

5. Sounds like he's guilty of bad timing.

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Response to 24601 (Original post)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 10:08 AM

6. The only thing that suspension did was to implant the event

 

in the kid's mind. Totally stupid beyond belief. I'll bet 20 years hence he will no longer be using fingers.

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Response to 24601 (Original post)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 10:11 AM

7. Adults who can't think and lay this on 6 yr olds should be fired

I have a 6-year-old grandson. Are you kidding? No wonder the schools are failing our kids - reason and thinking seem to have disappeared. I am disgusted with anyone who thinks it is OK to suspend a K-gartner/1st grader for being a kid - especially given our popular culture.

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Response to 24601 (Original post)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 10:12 AM

8. Oh for fuck's sake...

Stupidest school suspension EVER.

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Response to 24601 (Original post)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 10:14 AM

9. Imagine the stories this kid will have in 20 years for HIS kid

"You think your school did something stupid? Listen to what happened to me."

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Response to 24601 (Original post)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 10:19 AM

10. Ugh.

Maybe the school officials read about that family (in Arizona?) that sent their elementary school kid to school with a concealed gun, other than that this is ridiculous. We need to ameliorate if not solve the underlying problem, not start suspending six year olds for doing what they've always done and always will do.

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Response to cvoogt (Reply #10)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 11:53 AM

15. UT, not AZ.

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Response to 24601 (Original post)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 10:24 AM

11. This is the stupidest thing to say the least.

 

Suspend a 6 yo kid for pointing his finger like a gun and saying pow? This school is really off it's rocker.
What's next? Police arresting adults for doing the same thing in public?
I hope the parents sue the shit out of the school district and win a huge settlement and force the principal to apologize to the parents and child.

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Response to 24601 (Original post)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 10:31 AM

12. My grandson, age 8 at the time, was expelled and sent to another school for this three years ago.

Stupid bullshit.

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Response to 24601 (Original post)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 11:34 AM

13. Bullshit reactions. This has been going on far too long

I recently watched part of an old transformer and GI joe episodes with a childhood friend of mine. His wife, an elementary teacher walked by and mentioned that her students would never be allowed to watch shows like that.

There is a book my teacher friend recommended to me. The name escapes me now, but the gist of it is this. We are often doing far more harm than good in telling kids that normal play and entertainment is "bad". This relates to "aggressive games" (tag), video games, comic books, etc. Hell, tag is outlawed in many public schools as being too aggressive.

Good behavior, manners, respecting other people's rights, bodies and opinions should all be taught. But when kids start believing that many of the things they enjoy are "wrong", they can believe that they themselves are "wrong". And planting that seed can have drastic consequences down the road. Obviously like most things in the world, most kids will handle it ok, but a small percentage of them will take it the other way. They will believe that they are bad, that their thoughts and likes aren't normal and will seek out things that are even further outside of the norm.

All because as a 6 year old they liked playing cops and robbers...

Fire whoever suspended this kid now, before they infect any other children.

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Response to WestCoastLib (Reply #13)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 12:39 PM

25. I can't help but draw line between this and the rape video being discussed in another thread.

If very minor infractions are met with the harshest punishment, why not try some really bad stuff?

Welcome to DU!

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Response to MindPilot (Reply #25)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 04:24 PM

38. Someone alerted on your reply.

And I found this interesting, because I'd just read your OP in GD (so sorry about what happened).

In any event, this gave me context I might not have had, since this reply and this thread are unrelated, yet the comparison is drawn.

I agree with you, and I voted to not hide your reply.

Zero-tolerance and super harsh punishment teach nothing and might even encourage more egregious behaviors!

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Response to NYC_SKP (Reply #38)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 04:44 PM

39. What, did someone think I was actually advocating "doing really bad stuff"?

That is the problem with text-based conversation...no nuance.

But thanks!

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Response to MindPilot (Reply #39)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 05:13 PM

40. The alert was shot down 6-0. Results below:

At Thu Jan 3, 2013, 04:19 PM an alert was sent on the following post:

I can't help but draw line between this and the rape video being discussed in another thread.
http://www.democraticunderground.com/?com=view_post&forum=1014&pid=355212

REASON FOR ALERT:

This post is disruptive, hurtful, rude, insensitive, over-the-top, or otherwise inappropriate. (See <a href="http://www.democraticunderground.com/?com=aboutus#communitystandards" target="_blank">Community Standards</a>.)

ALERTER'S COMMENTS:

equating the reactions to a a 6 year old child with the reactions to rapists????

You served on a randomly-selected Jury of DU members which reviewed this post. The review was completed at Thu Jan 3, 2013, 04:26 PM, and the Jury voted 0-6 to LEAVE IT.

Juror #1 voted to LEAVE IT ALONE and said: Please take a deep breath. It'll be ok.
Juror #2 voted to LEAVE IT ALONE and said: No explanation given
Juror #3 voted to LEAVE IT ALONE and said: No explanation given
Juror #4 voted to LEAVE IT ALONE and said: False equivalency by the alerter.
Juror #5 voted to LEAVE IT ALONE and said: Jeez, I got what he meant. He meant that if you're going to over-penalize the small stuff, it encourages the kid to try the big stuff.

Really, misunderstanding here.
Juror #6 voted to LEAVE IT ALONE and said: No explanation given

Thank you very much for participating in our Jury system, and we hope you will be able to participate again in the future.

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Response to 24601 (Original post)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 12:08 PM

17. Instead of fighting it

The parents seriously need to sit down with their child and explain to them why it's wrong.

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Response to Tempest (Reply #17)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 12:38 PM

24. Yes they should, and hope they have done so.

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Response to Tempest (Reply #17)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 01:52 PM

29. I'll bite; why is it wrong?

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Response to FiveGoodMen (Reply #29)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 03:27 PM

34. You're serious?

Those types of aggressive acts manifest themselves later in life.

You need to nip it in the bud early.

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Response to Tempest (Reply #34)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 03:45 PM

35. Aggressive acts?

The pointing of a finger and the use of the word 'pow'?

Unless it actually WAS part of a threat, it's nothing.

Could have been a joke.

Could have been a 'quote' from some TV show or game.

If that's an aggressive act, then punching someone must be worse than murder.

And murder must be worse than the Apocalypse, hell, and the Olive Garden put together.

IOW: I think you're massively overreacting.

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Response to 24601 (Original post)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 12:10 PM

18. This is just flat out stupid.

Has common sense deserted adults these days?

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Response to 24601 (Original post)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 12:22 PM

20. The kid's a wimp

At 6 years old he thinks using a gun, although imaginary, will solve his problems. Which is pretty much the problem with America's addictive gun culture society. The gun is a crutch for your insecurity, paranoia and fears. We're raising a bunch of pussies who hide behind a trigger. Be a real human and confront the other student with words, fists or walk away.

At first, I was going to give the kid the benefit of the doubt (boys will be boys) until I read the article and saw he's been talked to about this before and the incident happened right after he was disciplined for a similar incident. WTF? So after he's told not to do it and points his finger at a girl and says "Pow!" The kid obviously has problems.

I'm proud, being a Maryland resident, that this is taken seriously. We've had several incidents, one recently, at my son's high school in Laurel where a student's plan to "take out" several classmates was averted. After the famous recent movie theater incident a plan by a Maryland disgruntled employee was averted when several assault weapons were found in his house. Maryland is also considering forbidding people who have made previous threats illegal for them to own a gun. That story is in the Washington Post today. In our County, Prince George's, homicides went down last year as a result of guns by the thousands being confiscated.

This incident is all part of a larger plan to keep Marylanders safe from gun wielding whackos. If you want your state to be the Wild Wild West, have at it. But in Maryland, it's taken seriously.





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Response to rightsideout (Reply #20)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 12:26 PM

21. Good thing you were never six years old.

I hope you're not actually dealing with any children.

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Response to rightsideout (Reply #20)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 05:34 PM

41. Keep leading the way in the coastal Atlantic, Maryland.



Thanks for the report from your state.

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Response to 24601 (Original post)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 12:34 PM

22. So people knee jerk about expressions.

But will not actually do anything about gun restrictions. In places like this.

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Response to 24601 (Original post)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 12:37 PM

23. MontCo schools are among the best,

but don't agree w suspension; admonish of some sort better, imo, and agree w parents seeking expungement, but doesn't sound like an out of control school administration; the point they're trying to make is sound.

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Response to 24601 (Original post)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 12:50 PM

26. Time to cut index fingers and thumbs off.

Evil assault appendages.


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Response to 24601 (Original post)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 01:50 PM

28. It's the media! I remember when they used to show assault weapons on TV all the time

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Response to hughee99 (Reply #28)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 06:17 PM

43. You rock. Just sayin'.

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Response to 24601 (Original post)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 01:59 PM

30. Time to ban violent movies and video games, right?

After all, the only place he could have realistically learned to do this is from TV.

All responsible TV owners will agree, we must have reasonable limits on the right to what we view.

I'm all for letting people own TV's to view cooking shows, or entertain their families, but these new, high-channel-capacity HDTV's are too much.

No one needs more than 10 channels at a time. They're designed for only one thing: to assault your senses.

The Founding Fathers could never have envisioned such advances in technology, or they would have never allowed their ownership to be constitutional.

There, did I miss anything?

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Response to NickB79 (Reply #30)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 04:18 PM

37. They use knives on cooking shows and sometimes even cut raw flesh with them

Pretty violent stuff.

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Response to 24601 (Original post)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 04:11 PM

36. I Have No Problem With This

The headline is deceptive. The child was disciplined for repeated behavior that he knew was disturbing to others and he had been warned against. The parents over reacted. This is clear once you follow the link to the article read it.

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Response to Baby Bear (Reply #36)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 06:20 PM

44. Six years old, Dude.

 

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Response to 24601 (Original post)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 06:16 PM

42. Oh, for fukkin fuk's sake!

Way to pull attention off the real problem of real guns. Jackasses!

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Response to 24601 (Original post)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 08:33 PM

45. Ridiculous

 

And yes I agree with another poster who said this child was simply guilty of bad timing.

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Response to Mdterp01 (Reply #45)

Fri Jan 4, 2013, 10:19 PM

47. Ok, after one day's press coverage, the School System has reversed course quickly.

From Friday's WPost:

"School officials in Montgomery County rescinded the suspension of a 6-year-old Silver Spring boy who they said pointed his finger like a gun and said, “Pow,” agreeing to clear school records of an incident they had described as a threat “to shoot a student.”

"The reversal, laid out in a letter late Thursday, resolved an appeal filed by the family’s attorney the previous day."

http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/education/in-silver-spring-suspension-of-6-year-old-student-is-reversed-by-school-officials/2013/01/04/4dcbb0d8-561e-11e2-bf3e-76c0a789346f_story.html

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