In the latest case of a youth being punished for what used to be considered innocuous child’s play, a second grader at Driver Elementary in Virginia has been suspended for two days for making gun noises while pointing a pencil, WAVY-TV reports.
The boy’s father explained: “When I asked him about it, he said, ‘Well I was being a Marine and the other guy was being a bad guy’…It’s as simple as that.”
Paul Marshall, the father of the suspended 7-year-old Christopher Marshall, is a former Marine.
A spokesperson for Suffolk Public Schools, Bethanne Bradshaw, explained: “A pencil is a weapon when it is pointed at someone in a threatening way and gun noises are made.”
“Some children would consider it threatening, who are scared about shootings in schools or shootings in the community,” she continued, adding that kids think more about school shootings these days ‘Cowboys and Indians.’”
But the boy’s father pointed out that his son is in good academic standing, has never been in trouble before and, according to the boy’s teacher, stopped pointing the pencil when asked. At some point, Paul Marshall argued, there needs to be “what used to be called common sense.”
“He’s just being a typical boy; you’re taking away his imagination,” he said. “Enough is enough. I mean where do you draw the line? You know — a pencil? Was it sharpened, was it not? Is it a No. 2? I mean, what’s the big deal?”
Sitting on a swing with a camouflage hat, the boy said: “I was playing. I’m sorry and stuff.”
Watch the entire WAVY-TV report, below:
The other student was suspended along with Christopher.
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