Each month I DISHONOR an individual, team, program, school, or piece of legislation that I believe is (or has been) detrimental to the welfare of kids. I welcome your nomination for this discredit, and will consider thoughtfully any name(s) you propose. Please use the "Contact" link if you choose to nominate someone. Remember to explain why you believe your nominee deserves to be shamed, and let me know how I can contact you for verification. Your name will NOT be revealed — anyplace, ever. The buck stops with me. Ouch.
In the Mt. Carmel School District in Pennsylvania, possession of a Hello Kitty bubble gun resulted in the suspension of a five year old girl. School officials characterized the incident as a terrorist threat and said the bubble gun represented a serious threat to other students.
Daniel McClaine Jr., a freshman at Poston Butte High School in Arizona, was suspended after he put a screen saver on his computer showing an AK-47.
Police with assault rifles and helicopters invaded a Bronx school in response to a "sighting" of a Nerf gun. Panicked parents rushed to the two schools on Fulton Avenue and East 174th Street after heavily armed police were called to respond to reports of a gun on campus. The alarm was caused by a campus aide overhearing a student say "something about a gun."
A Hyannis West five-year-old in Massachusetts was threatened with suspension by school officials after he built a small toy gun out of Lego blocks and started to play-shoot his classmates.
The Sumter County School District In South Carolina expelled a kindergartner after she brought a small transparent plastic toy gun to school for a show and tell.
A ten year old Douglas MacArthur Elementary School student in Alexandria Virginia was recently arrested for taking a plastic toy gun to school. He faces a potentially permanent criminal record over the incident.
A third grader in Michigan was reprimanded by school officials when he brought a cupcake to school with a plastic toy soldier holding a gun on top of it.
Suffolk County Police in New York State confiscated a man's firearms and revoked his pistol license after his son threatened to use a water pistol against bullies who had taunted his friends at school.
A five-year-old boy at Parkview Elementary (Midwest City-Del City Schools in Oklahoma) was suspended for making a gun gesture with his hand.
The horrible tragedy at Newtown is no doubt influencing educators' disciplinary decisions, but that does not give us a license to ignore common sense — especially when we're dealing with little kids.
Clip art licensed from the Clip Art Gallery on DiscoverySchool.com