The country has changed. When I was growing up in the 1970’s in Massachusetts, everyone in my neighborhood played with toy guns sometimes. If one of those wasn’t available, a stick was the next best thing.

Thanks to relatively new “zero tolerance policies” children can’t even think of doing such things. A little girl in North Carolina just learned that lesson.

The Blaze reports:

School suspends 5-year-old girl for ‘turning a stick into a gun’

Officials at a North Carolina school suspended a kindergarten student for playing with a “stick gun” on the playground.

Caitlin Miller, who is 5 years old, was playing a game of “King and Queen” with two of her classmates Friday at J.W. McLaughlin Elementary School in Raeford, North Carolina. The little girl was pretending to be a guard trying to keep out intruders from entering the kingdom where the king and queen were when she spotted a stick in the shape of a gun, picked it up, and imitated firing the “weapon,” WTVD-TV reported.

The girl’s mother, Brandy Miller, later received a call from the school principal, saying her daughter had posed a “threat” to other students.

In a statement to WTVD, the school cited its “zero tolerance” policy for such behavior:

Hoke County Schools will not tolerate assaults, threats or harassment from any student. Any student engaging in such behavior will be removed from the classroom or school environment for as long as is necessary to provide a safe and orderly environment for learning.

Miller said she wants the school to apologize to her daughter and asserted that nobody at the school explained to Caitlin why she was disciplined.

“One minute she’s playing with her friends, and the next her teachers are dragging her to the principal’s office,” Miller said. “She’s confused.”

Here’s a video report:

Here’s an image of Caitlin holding a picture of the dangerous stick:

Luckily, Caitlin went back to school on Tuesday but that doesn’t change what happened.

Zero tolerance policies make educators look stupid. It’s amazing that they put up with it.

Featured image via YouTube.