In 2013, a 7-year-old boy was suspended for chewing a pastry into the shape of a gun, then pointing it at someone. The child then said “bang, bang.” The boy had to call up his dad to be picked up, since school officials detained him. Now a Maryland judge has upheld the two-day school suspension for the boy.
Supposed History of Aggression
Judge Ronald Silkworth has remarked that upholding the suspension is appropriate because the boy has a history of being destructive and showing aggressive behavior. The boy attended Park Elementary School in Maryland. Many people may call the reaction to this incident as overzealous, but it is important to be cognizant of the fact that the event happened less than three months after a mass shooting at an elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut. School officials were sensitive, the public was on edge, and people were – and are – sensitive to the real-life ramifications of gun violence.
School officials mention that the suspension was not about the pastry gun or even gun culture. Officials note that the boy has a history of being disruptive. This was simply a disciplinary action that the school felt was needed.
Robin Ficker is the anointed lawyer of the boy’s family. He notes that he and his client are disappointed by the decision to uphold the school suspension. There was no physical injury, with the lawyer believing that the school should be able to deal with the incident as a mere faux pas and not deem it as a threatening situation.
Do you think that the upholding of the suspension is justified? Do you think school officials were being overzealous?