A WJZ-TV reporter imitates the students' offending hand sign. (Photo: WJZ-TV)
Everyone wants to send their kids to a safe school where they can learn the skills to become a functioning adult. But are we almost starting to create "bubble" children, giving them so many rules at each turn that they will have no idea how to make independent decisions later in life?
A Talbot County school in Maryland has just suspended two six-year-old students for making "gun" signs with their hands while playing what used to be a fairly common game, cops and robbers, during recess. And less than two weeks ago, 6-year-old Rodney Lynch was suspended for the same offense.
Young Rodney explained what he did during a WJZ-TV interview: “Just pointing your fingers like this, and then she did the pow sound, and I just went like that, and then I got sent to the office, again.”
One parent, Julia Merchant, said the situation is "ridiculous."
Rodney Lynch explains what he did to get suspended. (Photo: WJZ-TV)
WJZ-TV has more on the case:
The school reversed its decision after Rodney’s parents appealed.
“They’re saying he threatened a student, threatened to shoot a student. He was playing,” said Rodney’s father, Rodney Lynch Sr.
“I do not believe maliciousness was involved here,” said child psychologist Dr. Joe Kaine.
Kaine says most 6-year-olds’ minds aren’t developed enough to understand why their idea of fun play might make adults upset.
“I can certainly appreciate that at school, that’s not a type of play that they are going to endorse and I certainly support that, but that’s where we educate the time and place for doing things,” Kaine said.
As of this article's publication, the suspension sentences of the other two boys have not been overturned.
But parental support seems to be on the side of the students, regardless of recent violence at American schools.
Janet Geotzky concluded, according to WJZ-TV: “Suspending them is a bit harsh and I don’t think that’s gonna do any good for the parent, child or school."
What do you think?
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