In the latest school disciplinary response to anything that might resemble even the idea of a gun, a seven year old boy at a Virgina elementary school has been suspended for pointing a pencil at another student and simulating gun noises.


A Suffolk school suspended a second grader for pointing a pencil at another student and making gun noises. Seven-year-old Christopher Marshall says he was playing with another student in class Friday, when the teacher at Driver Elementary asked them to stop pointing pencils at each other.

“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, the boy’s father. “It’s as simple as that.”

Christopher’s father was a Marine for many years. He thinks school leaders overreacted.

Boy who held pencil like gun suspended

The boy’s parents said they felt the school failed to use common sense.  Their son has good grades and has never caused any problems in classes before, according to the parents.  The boy had also apparently stopped the “threatening” behavior when asked to do so by a teacher, as was indicated by a note that was made in the suspension notice.

But a spokesperson for the school indicated that a pencil is considered to be “a weapon when it is pointed at someone in a threatening way and gun noises are made.”

“Some children would consider it threatening, who are scared about shootings in schools or shootings in the community,” said Bradshaw. “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.”

The boy’s father sees it differently.

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

This is merely the latest in a series of similar reactionary incidents at schools across the country. Most recently, a seven year old was suspended in March for biting a pastry into the shape of a gun, prompting school officials to offer counseling to students who may have been troubled by the incident.

At some point, we may have to consider whether the anti-gun hysteria is actually doing more harm than good to students.



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