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Hello Kitty 'terrorist,' et. al: Is zero tolerance suspensions for kids right?

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Associated Press

(Read caption) Zero tolerance policies resulted in the suspension of Kelly Guarna's 5-year-old daughter Madison, pictured, in Pennsylvania. The kindergartener was suspended from school for making a "terroristic threat" last month after her mother said she talked about shooting a Hello Kitty bubble gun.

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As a parent I have zero tolerance for realistic threats to my child's safety in school. However, I am not convinced that the criminalization of elementary school children and a new form of student shaming by branding kids over their imaginations is where we truly need to be headed right now. I am not getting rid of the Woody doll from Toy Story because it says, “Reach for the sky” when you pull the string either.

Over the past 19 years I have run a totally toy-gun-free, parentally-guided home where I limited violent video games. However, despite the hair-trigger on the panic button, I am not taking my son Quin, 9, who has Aspergers Syndrome (sadly an alleged part of the profile of the Sandy Hook Elementary School killer) off his favorite video game site that his teachers recommend for high-achievers, called Math Blasters.


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