An upstate New York school averted yet another domestic terrorist threat when administrators swiftly dealt with an 8-year-old boy who had told a classmate that he was going to shoot them … with a Lego gun … no bigger than a quarter. The school’s social worker and principal were called into action, disarming the boy and punishing him with a lunch-time detention.
On February 7th, the boy’s parents were notified of the incident. Initially, the principal told the father that the student had threatened to shoot a classmate. Details of the weaponry were not indicated at the time, and the father feared the worst. In a subsequent e-mail to the parents reviewing the incident however, mention of the Lego gun was made.
In reviewing the e-mail, the Mental Recession has opted not to reveal names for privacy sake. A portion of the e-mail from the principal reads:
(Father) –Shortly after 9 AM on Friday morning a female student, one that is very good friends with (student), reported to (teacher) that (student) pointed a Lego gun at her and stated “I will shoot you.” (Teacher) then contacted (Social Worker), who reported to the classroom and asked to speak to (student). His response was to cover his ears and refused to speak with her. (Student) had a plastic bottle with pennies in it and began banging it on the desk. (Social Worker) asked for the bottle and (student) refused. I was called to the room. I spoke directly with the female student and she shared with me what happened. She stated she was sad that he had said that to her and that she believed he no longer wanted be her friend.
An image of that portion of the message can be seen below:
The student later got into further trouble for being upset that he had been called out of class for this, and repeatedly yelled “I didn’t do it.” He was sentenced to a lunch-time detention in a “transition room” for his punishment. His further agitation at being punished escalated into a tantrum, and the child was eventually suspended for one day.
The actual weapon in question can be seen below, a figure from a Ninjago Lego Set that the parents had purchased for the boy just two nights earlier. The rocket launcher on the figures shoulder is the “gun” that was a serious threat in the eyes of the school.
The father responded to the school with an e-mail of his own.
The entire ordeal seems to be yet another example of a school overreacting to a relatively common refrain by children using toy guns. It’s zero tolerance at it’s worst, but it is nothing new in a hyper-sensitive society.
Last year, a 5-year-old boy was threatened with suspension from his daycare after making a gun out of Legos and pointing it at other children. Another boy, a kindergartner in Massachusetts, was given detention for bringing a similarly miniature Lego gun on a school bus. Four years ago, a 9-year-old was threatened with suspension and forced to fill out statements because of a two-inch Lego gun he was playing with in the school cafeteria.
In an even more extreme case, a 5-year-old girl was suspended for 10 days (eventually reduced to two) and ordered to undergo a psychiatric evaluation after saying “I’m going to shoot you and I will shoot myself.” The weapon in question? A Hello KittyBubble Gun.
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