First Grade Student Suspended for Bringing Toy Gun to School After Turning Himself In


#1

nydailynews.com/news/national/first-grade-student-suspended-bringing-toy-gun-school-turning-article-1.1819778

Darin Simak, 7, knew it was against the rules to bring toys that look like weapons to Martin Elementary School in New Kensington, Pa., but said he didn’t realize one was in his the pocket of his backpack until he arrived on June 4, according to a local report.

“He took it straight to the teacher and said that he wasn’t allowed to have it,” the boy’s father, Chris Simak, told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.

The teacher followed protocol by reporting Darin to the principal. He was immediately suspended pending an expulsion hearing with the superintendent


#2

Poor kid.

Honestly, though, I’m not surprised this happened. I know that area and it is not safe. I imagine the school district wants to appear tough on this kind of thing, even if it defies common sense. (Especially since other children will learn now that they need to hide small problems to avoid big trouble…not exactly the kind of lesson they need!)


#3

All I can say is that the teacher, principal, and superintendent are all behaving in an unintelligent way in this situation. They should learn to interpret better their own rules rather than following them to the letter.


#4

It’s not intelligent at all, but due to the politics surrounding it, the article isn’t quite as ridiculous as it sounds. There could be a large handful of opinionated, involved parents in the district, which would cause the teacher & principal to automatically error on the side of caution, even though they might personally think the entire ordeal is comical. There’s enough emotional baggage over the subject that they might just opt to be hyper-defensive for insurance reasons.

Or it could have just been a miscommunication. The teacher follows protocol but forgets to explain the situation, and the principal just goes by the book. Apathy.


#5

Or it could be just a case of ‘feel good dumbness’. :eek: :stuck_out_tongue: :smiley:


#6

Darin Simak, 7, knew it was against the rules to bring toys that look like weapons to Martin Elementary School in New Kensington, Pa., but said he didn’t realize one was in his the pocket of his backpack until he arrived on June 4, according to a local report.

“He took it straight to the teacher and said that he wasn’t allowed to have it,” the boy’s father, Chris Simak, told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.

The teacher followed protocol by reporting Darin to the principal. He was immediately suspended pending an expulsion hearing with the superintendent

Tis is precisely why, when a similar event happened in my classroom some years ago, I confiscated the toy and kept the incident to myself. Blast the protocol. I needed the boy in my classroom.

Jon


#7

Wow! I think this situation has gone overboard!! What is wrong with common sense? Does it have to be so black and white? It is a seven year old CHILD! It was an ACCIDENT! He was HONEST! And, he was punished. What is the lesson here to children?

I am glad there are teachers like Jon! I don’t think there is anything wrong with following protocol, and I advocate that. But, there are times that you just have to make exceptions to the rule. And, this was definitely one of those!


#8

It’s a lack of common sense.

Also, the school district will do whatever it takes to avoid lawsuits.

That is what this is all about. :rolleyes::frowning:


#9

These kinds of policies wont be around forever, eventually there will be common sense policies put in place, after all this is a school, they should already be using common sense to deal with situations like this, not going overboard due to a toy! LOL

Are they so ignorant they believe a toy could harm someone? I dont get it…why do they even care about toys, they are plastic and not able to shoot anything…LOL

Its kind of strange, all the schools are obviously lacking common sense about this kind of thing, and yet school shootings are at an all time high around the country…go figure? Seems to me someone would be intelligent enough to stand up and recognize its not working and come up with an alternative…but I think that may be giving them too much credit.


#10

:thumbsup:

And for his honesty in admitting that he accidentally brought the toy to school, he faces possible expulsion! It’s insanity.


#11

The sad lesson the kid has learn from the OP is that been honest got him suspended. He could have just kept the toy gun in his backpack and brought it back home and no more would have been said about it. Instead by trying to follow the rules he ends up been hammered with them, a lesson which is bound to stick with him.


#12

This would mean the administration would have to take responsibility.
And responsibility would mean liability.

It is far less troublesome to mindlessly follow a code.


#13

This kind of penalty is insane. The child brought the toy gun in by accident and furthermore he did the right thing by telling his teacher but yet he was punished for doing the right thing. I am absolutely sickened by the absolute draconian rules that schools have on this sort of thing. Don’t get me wrong, if it had been a real gun then yes a punishment would be merited but it was a toy gun and he brought in accidentally. He should have been commended for doing the right thing rather than punished.


#14

Hi Jharek,

Bound to. This is what happens when “zero-tolerance” rules are borne of a political ideology and agenda, instead of common sense. And to be sure, this is ideology. The progressive movement, by necessity, opposes private ownership of guns, so even toy guns, and pop-tarts that look like guns, and finger guns on the playground are to be punished far beyond sanity.

Jon


#15

By the way in England this was would be considered bananas. Partly that has to do of course with the fact that gun crime is not a major problem and owning real guns is very, very difficult here but my wife does voluntary teaching at weekends with autistic and other disabled kids and they liase with real schools at time. On one occasion the kids had what is I believe called ‘show and tell’ about their family background s and one kid whose family had a long military tradition bought in some family War medals, a deactivated service revolver and a helmet and other bits and bobs and talked about his father’s and grandfather’s time in the services. No big problems. My wife has a photo her younger brother doing the same in Russian 10 years ago or so at school with military stuff. Although then again all the kids there learnt to shoot at school at least at a basic level, the more advanced kids who had an interest were trained with automatic weapons if they pursued the interest.

Even I know how to use a rifle at a basic level. I’m not a fan of totally unrestricted gun control but punishing this kid is ludicrous. It brings to mind the old cliché about no good deed going unpunished.


#16

Instead of evoking the “no-good-deed-goes-unpunished” image, this situation might have been a wonderful teaching moment for the whole class if the teacher had behaved in a mindful manner instead of like a bureaucrat.


#17

Indeed but sadly as others have said this is the risk of zero tolerance policies when put into practise in a draconian fashion which allows no discretion for individual situations. I would hate to go to school in the US if I was a kid again if this goes on all the time. I remember us bringing our Action Men (a superior British version of GI Joe :stuck_out_tongue: ) to school complete with toy riles and accessories and on one occasion a toy motor boat I had due to a rich relative passing it on to me after her kids outgrew it. We put that on the canal that ran past the school and no-one cared. Not did they care when we put the figures in toy tanks/car/jeeps etc or brought in toy rifles etc. So long as we didn’t use them in the classroom ,poke each other’s eyes out etc. all was ok. The only thing banned was cap guns due to the fact they had real, albeit small traces, of gunpowder and were something of a fire and safety risk.


#18

Ugh. This doesn’t suprise me, but it definitely angers me. How can you get SUSPENDED for bringing a toy gun to school?! This is preposterous! I get where a detention may come into play if the child knowingly and willingly breaks the rules, but for Pete’s sake people. I admire this kid. After he realizes a TOY gun is in his bag, he reports it to the teacher and apologizes, most likely to AVOID trouble. If that were me, I would’ve hid the toy somewhere, hoped no one saw it, and brought it home never to be brought to school again. The fact that he turned it in and apologized is just amazing to me. However, suspending him afterwards?! What good does it do to punish someone for doing the right thing? This kid is now going to grow up thinking he’ll be punished insanely for doing THE RIGHT THING, and will unknowingly do the wrong thing from now on to stay out of trouble. Now, maybe there was miscommunication between the teacher and administrator. After all, I do find it hard to believe that after this kid explained everything and apologized, the teacher felt inclined to demand the principle suspend him. I hope everything gets cleared up and this child goes on to be the honest person he so very well displayed in this incident.


#19

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