My concern stems from a string of recent news reports in which children much younger than my son have been suspended and socially branded via schools' zero tolerance gun and weapon policies that are on such a hair-trigger that we are perhaps beginning to do more harm than good by crying wolf and painting kids with the “bad kid” brush when all they really need is a little guidance.
According to The Associated Press, a Pennsylvania kindergartener waiting for the bus told friends she was going to shoot them with a Hello Kitty toy that makes soap bubbles and was suspended for making “terroristic threats.”
Meanwhile, in Maryland, the AP also reported, two 6-year-old boys pretended their fingers were guns “during a playground game of cops and robbers, and a 5-year-old boy at an after-school program made a gun out of Legos” and pointed while making realistic shooting sounds, I'm guessing, “BANG! Rata-tata-tat-ta!”
Let's look at this from a point of view where we aren't freaking out every time someone slams a car door in the school parking lot too hard (thinking it's a gunshot) and remind everyone that Hello Kitty bubble puffers don't kill kids, kids with real guns and an actual history of issues kill kids.