real or imaginary

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AlyssaEimers's picture
Joined: 08/22/06
Posts: 6698
real or imaginary

Colorado boy, 7, reportedly faces suspension for tossing imaginary grenade | Fox News

Should a child get suspended for playing with imaginary weapons?

Rivergallery's picture
Joined: 05/23/03
Posts: 1301

"AlyssaEimers" wrote:

Colorado boy, 7, reportedly faces suspension for tossing imaginary grenade | Fox News

Should a child get suspended for playing with imaginary weapons?

um no!

GloriaInTX's picture
Joined: 07/29/08
Posts: 4138

Very silly! Recently my son had to do a project at school and do a timeline poster of a person he admired and important events in their life. He wanted to do one of his brother that is in the Air Force and serving in Afghanistan. Some of the pictures on his timeline were of his brother in full uniform with a gun. I just realized in some of these kooky schools he probably would have been suspended for bringing a picture of a gun to school!

Joined: 08/17/04
Posts: 2226

It's the rule and he broke it. If you don't like the rule..then try to have it changed.

I don't see what is kooky about a school discouraging violent play.

ftmom's picture
Joined: 09/04/06
Posts: 1538

"Jessica80" wrote:

It's the rule and he broke it. If you don't like the rule..then try to have it changed.

I don't see what is kooky about a school discouraging violent play.

I think what people are saying is that the rule should be changed. At least that is what I am saying Smile

Discouraging violent play....yes, I can get behind that. No pretend guns, grenades etc in the classroom....yes, I have often enforced this rule myself. Suspended for playing with imaginary weapons on the playground.......no, cant say I see the reasoning for this. It is hard, to impossible, for a duty teacher to be aware of what every child is playing at all times, which means this child could have played this game for days before anyone saw and reported the grenade incident. I honestly think that a simple, 'we dont play with pretend weapons here' would have sufficed. If it was an ongoing issue, then the parents could be brought in to discuss if it is important enough to the school, but suspension seems like it is going WAY too far for such a minor thing.

I have actually seen a teacher remove a toy gun from a grade one child (so same age) who brought it to school for show and tell. She told him he couldnt have it at school, she held it up for the kids to see at show and tell while he talked, and then she put it on a high shelf and told him his parent could come get it after school. That to me is reasonable....not walking the kid down to the office and getting the principal involved.

Joined: 08/17/04
Posts: 2226

The question wasn't if the rule should change, it was should he be suspended. I answered it.

ftmom's picture
Joined: 09/04/06
Posts: 1538

I just re-read what I wrote, and then the article. I dont necessarily think that the rule should be changed, but I do think that this punishment is not appropriate.

ftmom's picture
Joined: 09/04/06
Posts: 1538

"Jessica80" wrote:

The question wasn't if the rule should change, it was should he be suspended. I answered it.

Really? I am not seeing your response to that question. You said that is the rule and he broke it.....I assume that you agree with the suspension then? If we suspended children for every rule they break in school, we would have empty classrooms.

AlyssaEimers's picture
Joined: 08/22/06
Posts: 6698

I think this is over the top. Every little boy I have ever known has played pretend guns. You can not control what someone pretends. I have taught Sunday School off and on for years (yes, I know this is different than public school, but it is still being responsible for other people's children). I would not allow the loud sound effects of pretend guns and would re-direct their attention to something else, but suspending a child for imagined play seems crazy to me.

fuchsiasky's picture
Joined: 11/16/07
Posts: 955

I have some big problems with guns, gun culture and gunplay. We don't allow toy guns in our home because we feel they are tools and not toys. And gunplay adds to the idea that they are toys. Also some of them look really real. I don't think they need to be in schools.

But, if a kid wants to play guns they will. There is nothing anyone can do about that. A reminder that gunplay is not for school should suffice. Suspending someone for pretending is crazy.

Joined: 08/17/04
Posts: 2226

Yes I did answer it. He broke the rule and the punishment was a suspension. I can argue about changing the rules for imaginary play and I can argue about what I think is a more appropriate punishment. The school dealt with it the way it is written for them to do so.

boilermaker's picture
Joined: 08/21/02
Posts: 1984

Oh come on, Fox News, it says he "may" be suspended, not that anyone did suspend him.

I understand the rule, and support it, but I don't think that this (first?) transgression should result in a suspension (and don't think any educator would argue that it should....) Is this kid always blowing up others?

I don't love guns. I hate the violent culture sometimes perpetuated by guns-- but we have foam Nerf guns and my 5 year old plays with them (and so do our 7 & 9 yo girls....)

Guns are tools-- but so are shovels and wagons and lots of other things that our kids also have that are "play". I guess we are "guilty" of allowing our kids to play with foam swords, too.

GloriaInTX's picture
Joined: 07/29/08
Posts: 4138

LOVELAND, Colo. ? A 2nd grader has been suspended from school in Loveland for a make believe game he was playing.

7-year-old playing an imaginary game at school gets suspended for real | KDVR.com – Denver News, Weather & Sports from FOX 31 News in Denver, Colorado

SID081108's picture
Joined: 06/03/09
Posts: 1348

"Jessica80" wrote:

Yes I did answer it. He broke the rule and the punishment was a suspension. I can argue about changing the rules for imaginary play and I can argue about what I think is a more appropriate punishment. The school dealt with it the way it is written for them to do so.

Where do you see that? (what is bolded) You must have read a different article than I did. I didn't see anything indicating the prescribed punishment as indicated by the "rule".

GloriaInTX's picture
Joined: 07/29/08
Posts: 4138

It sounds to me like they didn't even follow their own rules, unless they consider this a severe occurrance.

Bolding mine

ABSOLUTES for Mary Blair Elementary
To insure this Time to Teach Program, we have come up with some ABSOLUTES to make Mary Blair a safe environment.
The ABSOLUTES for Mary Blair Elementary:
1. No Physical Abuse or Fights – real or “play fighting”
2. No weapons (real or play), illegal drugs (including tobacco) or alcohol
3. No serious disrespect toward people or property (includes, but is not limited: profanity, racial slurs, deliberately refusing to follow a staff directive, graffiti, etc.)

ABSOLUTE Procedure:
• An ABSOLUTE must be witnessed by an adult
• A student will be placed in the Principal’s office or sent home for the rest of the day if he/she violates an ABSOLUTE. A student will be allowed two non-severe, non-suspension occurrences. The third occurrence will constitute a formal suspension, which could be up to five school days. A conference is always held with the teacher and the principal as to the severity of the consequence.
• Each time a student violates and ABSOLUTE, a “Parent Notification of Behavior Problem” form will be sent home with the child.
• Each time a student is suspended, a “Behavioral Plan” will be written with parents, principal, teacher and the student (when possible). This conforms to Thompson R2J School District policy and Colorado Discipline Code.
• Every ABSOLUTE that is broken following the first suspension will also be a suspension.

mom3girls's picture
Joined: 01/09/07
Posts: 1537

wondering if there is something we are missing some information. A few years ago the school that my kids go to suspended a kid for drawing a gun. The local media was all over it, with the parents saying that there was no way he had ever done something like this before. The school could not comment and as parents we could not comment on behavior we had seen in the class before. I had been in his class, I had seen him threaten other kids, tell them he was going to shoot them etc. The school is bound by privacy rules, the parents can say whatever they want

Joined: 08/17/04
Posts: 2226

I guess I was assuming this was not a first time offense. If it wasn't then yes they didn't follow their rules. I figured this was not the response for a first time offender.

Spacers's picture
Joined: 12/29/03
Posts: 4104

I don't think gun play is acceptable at a school, and that includes pretend grenades. Suspension for a first offense is a little steep, though, unless they determined it to be a "severe" offense. That probably depends on the circumstances, i.e. did he pretend to throw something at nothing in particular & when asked what it was, said, that was a grenade? Or did he tell his classmates that he was going to blow them up & then pretend to throw a grenade at them? IMHO the latter would be "severe" while the former wouldn't.

Rivergallery's picture
Joined: 05/23/03
Posts: 1301

Is an imaginary gun a play gun? IMO no, a play gun is also a physical gun.

Rivergallery's picture
Joined: 05/23/03
Posts: 1301

"mom3girls" wrote:

wondering if there is something we are missing some information. A few years ago the school that my kids go to suspended a kid for drawing a gun. The local media was all over it, with the parents saying that there was no way he had ever done something like this before. The school could not comment and as parents we could not comment on behavior we had seen in the class before. I had been in his class, I had seen him threaten other kids, tell them he was going to shoot them etc. The school is bound by privacy rules, the parents can say whatever they want

My friends son got suspended for pokemon cards saying he brought a weapon to school, don't even have pics of weapons.

Rivergallery's picture
Joined: 05/23/03
Posts: 1301

"fuchsiasky" wrote:

I have some big problems with guns, gun culture and gunplay. We don't allow toy guns in our home because we feel they are tools and not toys. And gunplay adds to the idea that they are toys. Also some of them look really real. I don't think they need to be in schools.

But, if a kid wants to play guns they will. There is nothing anyone can do about that. A reminder that gunplay is not for school should suffice. Suspending someone for pretending is crazy.

You don't allow toy guns in your home because they are tools? Not sure why that makes sense? You don't allow toy tools in your home?

AlyssaEimers's picture
Joined: 08/22/06
Posts: 6698
Joined: 03/08/03
Posts: 3256

I think with these suspensions they are missing opportunities for real conversations about violence and weapons, and completely misplacing their focus. Suspending little kids for pretending to shoot with their fingers or Legos is not going to change the violence in this country one iota, it's just going to whip people into a frenzy for no reason.

AlyssaEimers's picture
Joined: 08/22/06
Posts: 6698

The whole concept of trying to control a child's imagination boggles my mind.

Spacers's picture
Joined: 12/29/03
Posts: 4104

"AlyssaEimers" wrote:

The whole concept of trying to control a child's imagination boggles my mind.

I don't see it as controling a child's imagination. I see it as teaching them that there is a proper place & time for certain things, and school is not the place or time for gun play. It's helping them learn self-control and appropriate public behavior, and we already do it all the time with other things. We teach them not to fondle themselves at school, which is something that is perfectly acceptable at other times & in other places. We teach them not to bite one another at school; even if that's how they play with siblings at home, it's not acceptable at school. We teach them to sit still and be quiet when others are talking, regardless of whether their parents enforce that kind of thing at home. I see no difference in teaching a child that gun play at school is not acceptable. Do it at home, do it with your siblings or with your like-minded friends, just not at school.

Joined: 08/17/04
Posts: 2226

I agree it is not controlling imagination at all.

There is a time and a place for everything. School is not the time to promote violent behaviors.

Joined: 03/08/03
Posts: 3256

I have no issue with the schools having rules about no fake weapons play. I DO have issue with suspending little kids because of it, instead of using those moments to have discussions about WHY it's a rule, and what's important about it. Suspending kids for behavior like that doesn't help anybody and doesn't change anything in terms of how we view violence. Having a rule about it and discussing it as it comes up? To me, that is helpful.