Kindergartner suspended for pink bubble gun threat

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Some years ago I read a news story about a group of grade school boy who were suspended for pointing their fingers like a gun and saying "pew pew pew." I also read another story about a 5 year old boy that kissed a girl classmate on the cheek and was suspended for "sexual harassment."

So this story doesn't surprise me. People are so stupid nowadays.

http://hoodedutilitarian.com/2011/08/no-place-for-children/

"If you were kind, you could say that public schools have always struggled to balance the desire to control kids with the desire to teach them. If you were more cynical, you might say that the balancing has never been all that difficult, because the desire to teach has always been easy to stifle."

This is why I hated school.

According to the source article http://dailyitem.com/0100_news/x964877896/Bubbles-shooter-5-suspended the little girl said she was going to shoot her friends then herself so they could all be together, and if that's what she told the teachers when asked why she wanted to shoot people I can see the conversation lasting 3 hours.

It's the videogames that cause this. If only she wasn't witness to the horrors of BubbleBobble.
image

I hate to be "that guy", but, I guess I kinda have to. A psychiatrist needs to be called to handle this, plain and simple. Your reaction to them asking for professional evaluation of this girl is ridiculous. Of course she needed professional evaluation; she was using adult words, phrases, and ideas that, if meant in normal context, would be ridiculously scary. A psychiatrist needs to come in to make sure just HOW this girl means about shooting people, where she heard that kind of stuff from, and are her parents providing a risky environment. Kids who have dark writing, even if they don't make any subtle threats to themselves or others, are often referred to professionals to make sure that they're okay, and not depressed/suicidal.

I will, however, agree that 3 hours is a bit ridiculous. Where were the parents' being notified? Where were professional psychiatrists? Even in my school (where my graduating class had 23 people) they were able to afford to pay pro psychologists for this kind of thing. It was handled insanely poorly, but certain things, like referring her to a specialist and ensuring that her threats had no value whatsoever do, in fact, take priority.

And as a side note, I love how one week, the American Right is trying to shove guns into the hands of everyone who can hold them because 'MURICA, and the next the American Right is trying to shut down even the slightest mention of guns because 'MURICA. Stay classy, escapists.

I don't know how it is in the rest of the states, or the world, but in Florida toy guns, of any kind, in school are treated like ICBMs. If this happened in Florida they would publicize this like it was the columbine massacre, have local child psychology "experts" go on the news so he can tell everyone his "perfect strategy" to "rescue the youth of America" and then find some way to link the incident to communism and how it will destroy our nation.

(Not joking)

alfinchkid:

And as a side note, I love how one week, the American Right is trying to shove guns into the hands of everyone who can hold them because 'MURICA, and the next the American Right is trying to shut down even the slightest mention of guns because 'MURICA. Stay classy, escapists.

a lot of the euro-posters arent exactly getting gold stars in critical thinking :P

wulf3n:

DVS BSTrD:
In the article you linked, it clearly states that they waited three hours before contacting the mother.

I missed that part, 1 gap filled.

DVS BSTrD:

It is also clear that they brought her in based entirely on second hand information. This incident was not even investigated properly.

"Someone at the school became aware" isn't clear at all. Once again you're making an assumption given that there's no mention of the investigation the school performed.

DVS BSTrD:

And I wasn't filling in the gaps, unless you live in a very strange town being sent to jail tends to involve being taken away from your family.

The gap I was referring to was that the school said she could go to jail. All we have is the account of a 5 year old.

DVS BSTrD:

I'm only giving them the benefit of the doubt in that they didn't directly threaten to send her to jail over this.

Wow, you're not going to make an assumption based on absolutely no evidence, you should be commended.

DVS BSTrD:

And reducing "Terrorist threat" to "threat to harm others" doesn't change the fact that this not what happend at all.

This is the only part of the incident with the information we've been provided that i'll concede is stupid given that nothing the girl said could be in any way linked to the word "terrorism", it was more of a suicide pact, however most of the western world is "terror" obsessed, so I didn't seem worth mentioning.

DVS BSTrD:

The road to hell is paved with good intentions and people too proud and too stupid to admit they made a mistake.
These people vastly overstepped and abused their authority. They should be fired no matter what they "thought" she said.

Once again with little to no actual information you've accused the school of Pride, Stupidity, Incompetence, and Abuse of Power, and given a recommendation that they should all be fired.

Is no one else seeing the insanity in this thread?

Really? Either they didn't bother to investigate the incident enough to find out what she really said, or they did and suspended her anyway. Can you think of any other reasons why they would have done this, or are you okay with zero tolerance policy no matter who gets hurt?

DVS BSTrD:
Really? Either they didn't bother to investigate the incident enough to find out what she really said, or they did and suspended her anyway.

A false dichotomy, there are any number of possibilities for their actions, none of which may be valid excuses , but until the facts of what actually happened are uncovered your're crucifying them based on speculation and assumption.

DVS BSTrD:

Can you think of any other reasons why they would have done this,

Just because I can't think of a plausible explanation doesn't mean one doesn't exist.

DVS BSTrD:

or are you okay with zero tolerance policy no matter who gets hurt?

I've never argued for or against, I'm merely trying to point out the absurdity in convicting a person(s) based on absolutely no evidence.

See public schools? See what the zero tolerance policy has come too? In your attempt to avoid frivolous lawsuits, you're opening yourself up to legitimate lawsuits. Now, what new ridiculous stance are they going to take? "We can do whatever we want, and we'll pressure congress into passing laws that support us."?

DVS BSTrD:

Baneat:
What is the world coming to - Political correctness gone mad - I blame the tabloids

blah blah

You really are an Extra Credits fan aren't you? :P /jk

I honestly could not figure out what that was supposed to mean.

alfinchkid:
she was using adult words, phrases, and ideas that, if meant in normal context, would be ridiculously scary.

I will point out, on the flip side, that if she had been a boy, this probably would have been dismissed as "boys will be boys."

And as a side note, I love how one week, the American Right is trying to shove guns into the hands of everyone who can hold them because 'MURICA, and the next the American Right is trying to shut down even the slightest mention of guns because 'MURICA. Stay classy, escapists.

Welcome to 'MURICA, where we've been trying to ban toy guns but defend the real thing since the 70s.

I wish I could fucking care at this point.
Nowadays there is so much stupid paranoid shit happening worldwide that this is all just par for the course.

rhizhim:

DVS BSTrD:
snip

to be fair, it is pretty damn soon from the things that happened in Connecticut.

people tend to be riled up in the aftermath and stay scared and worried about that happening again for a long time.

also 5 year olds can shoot people t-

wulf3n:
Because it's impossible for a 5 year old in america to get access to a firearm and shoot someone... oh wait!

http://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/article/Judge-allows-paralyzed-dad-to-sue-Glock-3732408.php
http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/3-year-old-accidentally-shoots-dad-death-family-watches-tv-article-1.1116267
http://news.yahoo.com/police-boy-3-accidentally-shoots-kills-father-indiana-194550171.html
http://www.dispatch.com/content/stories/local/2012/09/24/father-hospitalized-after-3-year-old-son-shoots-him.html
http://www.wistv.com/story/19025894/police-3-year-old-shot-father
http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/headlines/2011/12/3-year-old-shoots-and-kills-5-year-old-in-colorado/
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/12/07/boy-shoots-sister-philadelphia_n_2257939.html
http://fox4kc.com/2013/01/15/four-year-old-child-shoots-kills-man-in-virginia/
http://kstp.com/article/stories/s2856614.shtml

not wishing to play devils advocate but it's not exactly implausible.

yeah, this here also.

As I kept trying to tell wulf3n, I don't blame them for showing concern. I blame them for how they handled it. There was absolutely NO need to treat her like this when any idiot could have figured out she wasn't going to "shoot" anybody simply by asking her and the girls she was ACTUALLY talking to what happend. Calling the parents should have been the FIRST thing they did, instead of questioning the poor girl for three HOURS. She's five years old, it might not have even occurred to her to explain she was talking about a bubble gun. And worse, they might not have let her explain even if it did. Like those guys who put up those Moonanite light displays a few years back. As long someone thinks you're a terrorist, you're a terrorest. Evidence be damned. I have zero tolerance for zero tolerance.

First off obscenity off to everyone trashing Americans. As someone else has pointed out there isn't much in the way of critical thinking for the majority of the Europeans in this thread. Yes American has its share of Nutters, so do you, get over it. We just tend to publicize more shit because our news stations are as morally obligated as the devil.

As for everyone condemning the actions of the school and the teachers involved. Until you have all the information don't you think it wise to shut your mouths? Does it look like the school way over reacted, yes. Does it look like all the information given was an overreaction, NO. Referring the child to a psychologist is an imperative in this situation. These are not the normal thoughts of a 5 year old by any scale. There is something seriously wrong with the tone in which it was given. Discovering the nature of the threat was also an imperative. How do we know that she didn't mean what she said and used the bubble gum gun as a cover up? We do not. In fact we only know what was reported by ONE side of the equation.

I love this site, and I like coming here as I think there seems to be a general trend toward intelligent people here. But this thread is filled with trash for the most part.

Stay Classy

This is stupid on a level that bended the laws of reality and made me able to grow a face on the back of my hand. Do you know why? It was to enable me to do a double facepalm.

A five-year old isn't even capable of comprehending the nature of a school shooting... and probably heard about school shootings and 'wanted to play'.

'course, news media aren't going to be held responsible for sensationalism. That'd just be absurd.

I'm glad my school didn't react this way when my friends and I were playing "SWAT team" and I was the bad guy taking hostages : \

DVS BSTrD:
There was absolutely NO need to treat her like this when any idiot could have figured out she wasn't going to "shoot" anybody simply by asking her and the girls she was ACTUALLY talking to what happend.

How do you know they didn't just ask her and her friends, and how do you know their responses weren't what made things worse?

DVS BSTrD:

Calling the parents should have been the FIRST thing they did, instead of questioning the poor girl for three HOURS.

Just because the news post said the parents were contacted after 3 hours of questioning, doesn't mean the school didn't attempt to contact the parents earlier.

DVS BSTrD:

She's five years old, it might not have even occurred to her to explain she was talking about a bubble gun.

Exactly, and given this is America, the place where my previously quoted articles pointed out, is quite possible for a 5 year old to have a real gun, it may not have occurred to the teachers (or any rational mind) that when a child talks about shooting people to be together that she's talking about bubbles.

DVS BSTrD:

And worse, they might not have let her explain even if it did.

Once again you're filling in the gaps with your own biases.

DVS BSTrD:
I have zero tolerance for zero tolerance.

I find this point quite interesting and somewhat ironic. You don't like zero tolerance for (I assume) it's inflexibility when it comes to extenuating circumstances, yet here you are with 100% conviction of this school without knowing all the facts, an act remarkably similar to zero tolerance.

wulf3n:

DVS BSTrD:
There was absolutely NO need to treat her like this when any idiot could have figured out she wasn't going to "shoot" anybody simply by asking her and the girls she was ACTUALLY talking to what happend.

How do you know they didn't just ask her and her friends, and how do you know their responses weren't what made things worse?

Well since this story has come to light it's apparent SOMEbody was able to figure it out.

DVS BSTrD:

Calling the parents should have been the FIRST thing they did, instead of questioning the poor girl for three HOURS.

Just because the news post said the parents were contacted after 3 hours of questioning, doesn't mean the school didn't attempt to contact the parents earlier.

They should not have questioned her about such a serious subject without her parents present, period. Take a look at some of the other incidents where young kids have been suspended for pointing finger guns at each other.
http://www.infowars.com/five-year-old-girl-suspended-for-terroristic-threat-to-shoot-classmates-with-pink-bubble-gun/
Do you think some of those kids even know what happend at Sandy Hook? The family lawyer claims the the girl in this story didn't, and even if you think that's bad parenting, the girl shouldn't be punished for it.

DVS BSTrD:

She's five years old, it might not have even occurred to her to explain she was talking about a bubble gun.

Exactly, and given this is America, the place where my previously quoted articles pointed out, is quite possible for a 5 year old to have a real gun, it may not have occurred to the teachers (or any rational mind) that when a child talks about shooting people to be together that she's talking about bubbles.

Uhhhh she's five. Unless children these days are fucking robots, I'm pretty sure they still play pretend. And people who work with children for a living should be aware enough of how a child's mind works to consider this as a possibility.

DVS BSTrD:

And worse, they might not have let her explain even if it did.

Once again you're filling in the gaps with your own biases.

I never said that's what actually happend. I DID say that this a very REAL possibility. That's the problem with zero tolerance, as you pointed out below: context counts for shit. With zero tolerance it could be that just saying the words brings a mandatory suspension and psychiatric evaluation.

DVS BSTrD:
I have zero tolerance for zero tolerance.

I find this point quite interesting and somewhat ironic. You don't like zero tolerance for (I assume) it's inflexibility when it comes to extenuating circumstances, yet here you are with 100% conviction of this school without knowing all the facts, an act remarkably similar to zero tolerance.

I have a feeling you've never been on the wrong side of zero tolerance. Get back to me when you have.

I'm condemning the school because of what actually happend: They suspended this girl for a terrorist threat that she didn't make. The only way this school could be vindicated is if she really was threatening to shoot her friends, but that's not what happend is it? This is going on her permanent record all because someone heard something out of context. According to ABC
http://gma.yahoo.com/blogs/abc-blogs/kindergartner-suspended-over-bubble-gun-threat-174618051--abc-news-topstories.html
The mother tried to get her daughter into another school after this, but they wouldn't take her because of this mark on her record. The parents should not have to be forced to sue the school (if it comes to that) remove it, but hey, that's zero tolerance for ya!

And that's really all I have to say about this.

MeChaNiZ3D:
If you've ever been to a US airport, then you already know how stupid those people become when something vaguely resembling a terrorist act is hinted at.

I'm with 90% or more of the other posters on this topic: It was a stupid overreaction to a trivial problem.

I know exactly what you mean. I went on a trip to England last March with my orchestra to perform a few times. Let's face it, airport security people generally aren't all that bright. They know what a cello is, they know what a violin is, but do they know what a viola is? Nope! Someone put their viola on the x-ray machine and someone asked, "Is that a violin?" and she responded, "It's a viola." Know what happened? We were delayed by 30 goddamn minutes because she had to demonstrate what it was and prove that it wasn't a weapon.

DVS BSTrD:
I have a feeling you've never been on the wrong side of zero tolerance. Get back to me when you have.

I have a feeling you haven't understood a single word I've said.

DVS BSTrD:

I'm condemning the school because of what actually happend.

Incorrect you're condemning the school based on partial information and your own bias.

I'm not saying the schools not at fault.

I'm not saying zero tolerance is good.

I'm saying making a judgement without all the facts is negligent and malicious.

For example, after the recent shootings in America, a group of well let's just call them idiots, went to the facebook page of the person who the media had claimed (incorrectly) to be the shooter. They discovered that said shooter "liked" the mass effect facebook page, and proceeded to vilify Bioware even going so far as to harass the developers saying it was the their fault.

Many on the Escapist realise the stupidity of such claims and were only glad to point it out, yet here we are doing practically the same thing, judging people without all the information.

mitchell271:

MeChaNiZ3D:
If you've ever been to a US airport, then you already know how stupid those people become when something vaguely resembling a terrorist act is hinted at.

I'm with 90% or more of the other posters on this topic: It was a stupid overreaction to a trivial problem.

I know exactly what you mean. I went on a trip to England last March with my orchestra to perform a few times. Let's face it, airport security people generally aren't all that bright. They know what a cello is, they know what a violin is, but do they know what a viola is? Nope! Someone put their viola on the x-ray machine and someone asked, "Is that a violin?" and she responded, "It's a viola." Know what happened? We were delayed by 30 goddamn minutes because she had to demonstrate what it was and prove that it wasn't a weapon.

She could have, you know, just said "it's basically a violin."

That said, I've dealt with the exact same problem, when my teenage sister was bringing several dog treats (of actual bone) home from California. She ended up delaying us because, in response to a question, accidentally implied that they were human bones, despite looking nothing like one, and not understanding their immediate change in tone. She's innocent, and didn't understand that "did these come from a person" was a trap question.

Fun times. Stupid people.

mitchell271:

MeChaNiZ3D:
If you've ever been to a US airport, then you already know how stupid those people become when something vaguely resembling a terrorist act is hinted at.

I'm with 90% or more of the other posters on this topic: It was a stupid overreaction to a trivial problem.

I know exactly what you mean. I went on a trip to England last March with my orchestra to perform a few times. Let's face it, airport security people generally aren't all that bright. They know what a cello is, they know what a violin is, but do they know what a viola is? Nope! Someone put their viola on the x-ray machine and someone asked, "Is that a violin?" and she responded, "It's a viola." Know what happened? We were delayed by 30 goddamn minutes because she had to demonstrate what it was and prove that it wasn't a weapon.

How did that conversation last 30 minutes? "is viola a weapon?" "No open the case." "This looks like a violin." "its a viola, its like a violin, but isn't. Can I go?" wow the security must have gotten bogged down in procedure or something.

Doclector:
I've said it once, I've said it a thousand times, we need someone overseeing things to make sure nobody's doing or saying something fucking stupid. It makes me sad to think we need such a thing, but now we apparently do.

I was a little late to this party.

Sadly, the likelihood of finding overseers who themselves are not fucking stupid is approximately nil.

How could you possibly question someone about this for three hours?

"You said you wanted to shoot people?"
"It's a bubble gun. What's the big deal?"
"no, shut up! I'm asking the questions here!"

The psychiatrist is to help undo the possible damage done due to interrogation by incompetent kindergarten staff.

Lonewolfm16:
How did that conversation last 30 minutes? "is viola a weapon?" "No open the case." "This looks like a violin." "its a viola, its like a violin, but isn't. Can I go?" wow the security must have gotten bogged down in procedure or something.

She was essentially detained after 5 minutes until the security guard's supervisor came by and said, "Yeah, viola's exist." to him. Jesus tap-dancing Christ he was dumb.

Honestly, im not surprised about anything the educational system does anymore. They bounce from one extreme to the next in their response. Either they do nothing at all for fear of litigation, or go way overboard for fear of litigation.

As for the actual kids....man ive heard STORIES. Ive heard of 2nd graders giving handjobs....no joke. Ive heard of a 1st grader who STABBED (nothing fatal, but serious gashes never the less) multiple people including other students, the teacher, and her grandmother and only stopped when the police got involved. Oh and the stabber? didnt even get suspended. She got off lighter than this little girl.....

Well thanks for the vote of confidence everyone! Glad to see that the Escapist is like any other site on the net, that is if something very stupid or ignorant happens, we just roll our eyes, look at Americans and say," You're behind this, aren't you?" You know, constantly bringing up how America is stupid doesn't make your country any better or any less stupid. Not all Americans are racist, ignorant, bible bashing, homophobic, stupid, fat bigots that blame everything on every other minority and constantly do stupid things to prove how mind numbingly retarded they are. It's not only insulting, and just as bigoted to use the same stereotypes that you accuse us of using on you, it's also narrow-minded and extraordinarily ignorant to just assume everyone here is like that. America is like any other country on the planet, we have good citizens who lead normal lives trying to be decent people, and we have total morons who screw things up for everyone else and paint us in a bad light.

OT: When I was a child, I once tossed a kid onto a metal grate. Didn't get suspended, didn't get in trouble, and nowadays I'm constantly trying to make things up to him and be a good friend to him. When I look back on the state of affairs that plague current children, I can only ask this question," When did everyone in the world lose their right to be called confident human beings?" If a kid has a problem with another kid, you have them discuss it, and figure out what's wrong with them. A kid has the right to defend himself or herself without being treated as the offender, I know Taking Accountability for your own actions is a dying course of action, but it's what I was taught in high-school, and it's what people need to start doing more of. That being said, taking three fucking hours to interrogate a five year old about a toy gun is something that is so insanely sensitive, that you might as well start blaming three year old kids for playing violent video games and then going out to fight amongst themselves.

I was going to put something in here but then I read the OP and all I could think of was...

The intention was noble (really, that sentence spoken by a child is somewhat jarring), but the fact remains that it was a gross overreaction to a non-existent threat. A bright pink bubble blower does not warrant a three hour interrogation, the notification of parents perhaps (and this is based on the sentence spoken, not the vaguely gun shaped device).

If that were my child I would definitely be having a word with the school and getting some monetary gains for potential psychiatric damage.

Ok I can deal with the fact that my school increased security because TEH SHOOTINGS I guess. Sure I was brought in for questioning for being late, got my ID taken away, and was threatened to get my privileges taken away on a count that my school attendance has no absents or tardies. Not to mention my school is infamous for letting bullying be ok as long no one is hurt physically, and suspending anyone for being involved in a fight where they didn't hit at all (All of these are True Stories, I facepalmed till I bled...)

Zero tolerance, more like Zero Intelligence

But this...
Yeah, @#$% school.

You know I once got taken into a police truck in Russia when I was eight, for rather good reasons at the time on the cops side. But three hours damn... that just rough. I thought those cops were nightmarish, and this happened in the U.S. even worse the school, I mean wtf seriously are people just stupid because they are afraid or afraid because they're stupid. I don't even know.

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