Nerf Gun Suspensions Draw Fire In WashingtonBy: Shaylin Clark - June 5, 2013
These days it seems you can’t go more than a few days without hearing another story about a student disciplined for some gun-related offense. Whether it’s the kid who was suspended for biting a Pop-Tart into the shape of a gun (or Idaho, depending on how you hold your head), the deaf little boy who was asked to change his name sign because it looked too much like a gun (his name is Hunter), or the middle schooler who was arrested because his NRA t-shirt (which had a picture of a gun on it) sparked an argument with a teacher.
This time the problem appears to be Nerf guns. Three elementary school kids – two sixth graders and a fourth grader – in Edmonds, Washington have received a one day suspension for shooting Nerf guns at school. One of the boys brought the guns in with his teacher’s permission to use in a class project. The problem, it seems, is that before school started the three students did what you’d expect any child (and many a grown-up, myself included) to do with easy access to Nerf guns: they started shooting them.
An Edmonds School District spokesperson declined to go into specifics, but told Seattle’s Komo News that an incident had occurred at Chase Lake Elementary School. She said that “it’s a matter of safety and it’s of the utmost importance. So even if it’s a toy, we take it seriously.” She also said that in the case of toys like this, disciplinary measures are at the discretion of the school’s principal.
The parents of the suspended students called the punishment an overreaction, though. Stacey Leidholm. mother of one of the children, said “I understand that they definitely need consequences, but not that harsh of a consequence.” Her son is reportedly a straight A student. Because of the suspension on their records, the children will be barred from taking certain advanced courses in high school and will not be able to serve in student government.
The children’s parents are appealing the suspensions.