I’ve read quite a few news stories lately about very young children being suspended from school for pretend weapons. While I completely understand that the nation is sensitive to guns and other weapons at the moment, it is completely unreasonable to expect a child of five to seven years old to understand the adult’s feelings on the subject. Let’s be real folks, most five year olds have no idea where Connecticut is, even if they live there. To a child this young, death doesn’t mean a whole lot. They have no idea what it means to be shot, or blown up and that death means gone forever and never coming back. They don’t even have a clear understanding that other people hurt in the same way that they do.
THEY ARE JUST KIDS PEOPLE!
I have read about a five year old being suspended for threatening to shoot someone with a Hello Kitty bubble gun that she didn’t even have. Another five year old was suspended for making a finger gun while playing cops and robbers on the playground. A seven year old has now been suspended for blowing up an imaginary box of “evil” (not even another kid) in an imaginary game of save the world, which, by the way, he was playing by himself.
Look folks, half these kids can’t even tie their own shoes. Are you really asking a kindergartner to be sensitive to an adult’s perception of what they are doing? I am sure many of these kids’ parents have told their kids that these are not appropriate for school. I am sure many of these kids’ parents also asks them to shut the door when they go outside, put their clothes in the hamper and say please. Think about this folks, for most of these kids, Obama has been president as long as they’ve been alive. Castro was retired when they were born. Bill Gates too. And the old Yankee Stadium hasn’t been open in their lifetimes. Do you understand just how little these kids are? What is wrong with us?
When I was a kid, we played cops and robbers, cow boys and Indians. No one suspended us from jail. And very few of us have grown up to be serial killers or mass shooters. PLAYING WITH FINGER GUNS HAS NEVER LED TO SCHOOL SHOOTINGS. EVER. If you are concerned about violence, talk to the kids. Teach them empathy. Monitor what they watch and play. Make sure they have NO ACCESS to real guns.
But don’t be so unreasonable as to think that a child who won’t step on a spider because they want to be “good to bugs” is suddenly a “behavior problem” and a threat because they used a finger gun. That kind of record can follow a child forever. At least wait until they have lost their baby teeth before we start branding them.