Virginia school suspends two seven-year-olds over ‘gun’ pencils

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SUFFOLK, Va. – Two seven-year-old boys were suspended from their elementary school earlier this week for pointing pencils at each other and making gun noises.

The Associated Press reports the two boys were playing with one another in class last Friday when the teacher observed their behavior.

Ban-PencilsThe teacher told the boys to stop, which they immediately did, the AP reports.

According to parent Paul Marshall, his son was pretending to be a Marine and his friend was pretending to be “a bad guy.”

Suffolk Public Schools spokeswoman Bethanne Bradshaw said the boys’ imaginative play violated the school’s zero-tolerance policy, which has been in place for at least two decades.

“Some children would consider it threatening, who are scared about shootings in schools or shootings in the community,” Bradshaw told the AP. “Kids don’t think about ‘Cowboys and Indians’ anymore. They think about drive-by shootings and murders and everything they see on television news every day.”

In simpler times, this “incident” would have been a nonevent. In fact, it would have been considered normal boy behavior and an indication that the children have healthy imaginations.

But in America’s new hypersensitive and feminized culture, any reference to guns is treated as anti-social and dangerous. Things have gotten so out of whack that some zero-tolerance policies even forbid the drawing of a gun.

In our view, Suffolk school leaders should scrap their rigid and (slightly mindless) zero tolerance policy. Instead, they should treat these minor incidents as learning opportunities. After all, teaching kids how to think and behave is still the reason schools exist, right?

In the future, Suffolk officials could explain to students why their behavior was inappropriate and warn them that there will be consequences if they do it again.

That’s a policy everyone could support.

But this zero tolerance approach strikes many Americans as ridiculous.

As Paul Marshall (the parent) said, “Enough is enough. I see it as the tail is now wagging the dog.”

Very well put.


By Ben Velderman at


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  1. Dianna Zerbe says

    this is just crazy and it’s getting worse everyday!
    anything can be made it look like a gun if you want to see a gun!
    my tv remote can be a gun if I want to play cops and robbers with my grandson.
    people have got to get involved before it’s too late!

  2. Ernest Boggs says

    I am so tired of these so called “zero-tolerance” school systems have gone over the cliff and need to be ended. If they would just implement a gun safety course in every school and make it mandatory, you could do away with all these policies and lots of the shootings. Why not try something positive for a change.

  3. Craig Daniels says

    I agree with this article, especially the part about replacing the zero-tolerance policy with an in-depth discussion to let the boys know why what they did was wrong. Schools are definitely no place for guns. However, this incident was treated poorly, and I suspect that it was the doing of a panicked teacher who was caught up in the heat of the moment and unsure how to respond.

    The only thing I disagree with here is the use of the phrase, “feminized culture”. Neither this occurrence nor the treatment of it have anything to do with feminism or women’s rights, and “feminized” is absolutely not an insult.

    1. Craig Daniels says

      Hey Tom, thanks for the input! Sorry, I should probably clarify. What I meant when I said that guns are no places for schools is that kids should know that schools and guns– even pretend– shouldn’t go hand in hand, especially for this generation of kids who may be triggered by tragic events like the ones that happened at Columbine and in Newtown (Forgive me for being oversensitive, I lost a cousin in a similar incident). Yeah, the suspension was blowing things out of proportions, but it was still an inappropriate setting.

      As for the whole “feminized education”, I’m not sure what that’s about. Teachers are notorious for calling on boys more than girls, even in this day and age. Sexism against young girls is observed in the majority of schools, as boys are encouraged to call out the answers while girls are instructed to sit quietly and raise their hands.

  4. Sam says

    Fools continue to run the educational system. It’s a national epidemic.

  5. cynical bastard says

    So if a seven year old boy lights a fart in class(like we used to do), do they expel him for a nerve gas attack or a fuel air explosion?

  6. SammysDad says

    How a zero tolerance for liberal indoctrination of our children. This issue is a helluva lot more important than a pencil being used to go bang-bang. PTAs in this country need to stand up for their and their children’s rights for a balanced education, not some socialist drum beating curriculum forced down the throats of children whose parents have no idea of it.

  7. Ronald Allen says

    Sue the school. Get them where it hurts the most.

  8. colsooonscoorner says

    I can’t believe the idiocy that schools are sinking to. My brothers & I had ca[ guns and we’d have shootouts a;; the time. Oh well leave it to the libs, especially since they’re running the education of our kids. They really need to get a life!

  9. Thomas Gentile says


  10. hitthedeck says

    The next step from the crying liberals will be calling it the G word.

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    These Men Oppose It –
    Diane Feinstein
    Barbara Boxer
    Hillary Clinton
    Nancy Pelosi
    Hugo Chavez

    Who Do You Trust?
    One thing all dictators have had in common is the
    disarming of the general population.

    1. Thomas Gentile says


    2. colsooonscoorner says

      I’ll trust the ones with the guns, not the grabbers!

  12. Ray - God Bless Israel. says

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  13. Ray - God Bless Israel. says

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    Sign: NRA Member

  14. Ray - God Bless Israel. says

    Retired Marine and former Pan Am/Delta Pilot John Lovell is Top Gun at Subway Sandwich Shop

    Plantation, Florida:

    Police were called to investigate an attempted armed robbery: The 71-year-old retired Marine who opened fire on two robbers at a Plantation, Florida, Subway shop late Wednesday, killing one and critically wounding the other, is described as John Lovell, a former helicopter pilot for two presidents. He doesn’t drink, he doesn’t smoke, and he works out every day. Mr. Lovell was a man of action Wednesday night.

    According to Plantation police, two masked gunmen came into the Subway at 1949 N. Pine Rd. just after 11 p.m. There was a lone diner, Mr. Lovell, who was finishing his meal. After robbing the cashier, the two men attempted to shove Mr. Lovell into a bathroom and rob him as well. They got his money, but then Mr. Lovell pulled his handgun and opened fire. He shot one of the thieves in the head and chest and the other in the head.

    When police arrived, they found one of the men in the shop, K-9 Units found the other in the bushes of a nearby business. They also found cash strewn around the front of the sandwich shop according to Detective Robert Rettig of the Plantation Police Department.

    Both men were taken to the Broward General Medical Center , where one, Donicio Arrindell, 22, of North Lauderdale died. The other, 21-year-old Frederick Gadson of Fort Lauderdale is in critical but stable condition.

    Mr. Lovell was a pilot in the Marine Corps, flying former Presidents John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson. He later worked as a pilot for Pan Am and Delta Airlines.

    He is not expected to be charged authorities said. ”He was in fear for his life,” Detective Rettig said, “These criminals ought to realize that most men in their 70’s have military backgrounds and aren’t intimidated by idiots.”

    Something tells me this old Marine wasn’t “in fear for his life”, even though his life was definitely at risk. The only thing he could be charged with is participating in an unfair fight. One 71- year young Marine against two punks. Two head shots and one center body mass shot.

    Outstanding shooting! That’ll teach them not to get between a Marine and his meal.

    Florida law allows eligible citizens to carry a concealed weapon. Don’t you just love a story with a happy ending?

    Old people don’t fight, they just shoot you.

    1. Thomas Gentile says


      1. badbart says

        Nope. The thug who survived was charged.

        For once, justice was served.

  15. Ray - God Bless Israel. says

    “This year will go down in history. For the first time a civilized
    nation has full gun registration. Our street will be safer, our
    police more efficient, and the world will follow our lead in the future”.

    Adolf Hitler, 1935
    Barack Obama, 2013

  16. Ray - God Bless Israel. says

    A friend of mine sent me this and i’d like
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    Sign at a Gun Show

    “My brother and I went to the Gun Show at Reliant Center
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  18. Michelle Braithwood says

    leave it to good old VIRGINIA to go and mess up a kids GAME. they are 7 yr old boys. what the hell did they want them to do? play with dolls. heres a more threatening game they play every day, its called LIFE. and having lived in that shit hole state, i can tell you, those kids wont even graduate.

  19. Forebearance says

    “…the boys’ imaginative play violated the school’s zero-tolerance policy, which has been in place for at least two decades.”

    Everything Hitler did was legal, there were laws on the books enabling him to implement all his abhorrent policies, so just because a bureaucrat says “It’s the law” does not make their actions reasonable, justified or constitutional.

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