Boys Banned from Playing Army Game at School


toy gunIn a case of political correctness gone mad, a school in England is trying to ban boys from playing with their fingers. Yes, the boys had been using them as pretend guns while playing an "army game," but teachers' accusations that they were "threatening" is pretty over the top. They're fingers.

According to a story in The Telegraph, the parents of two 7-year-old boys were told they could no longer play with their "guns" at school and that the parents should reprimand them too. One of the boys' fathers told the paper, "We were told to tell our son he cannot play 'guns' anymore."

The article does say one of the boys pointed his finger gun at a teacher, and that sounds disrespectful, but threatening? Is there a 7-year-old boy alive who doesn't use his finger as a gun? Maybe we should make them all wear mittens?

Before I had a boy I had notions that we would be a gun-free home. While I grew up with an arsenal of toy guns that my brothers and I played with, I decided that pretend violence was unnecessary, and I would not let my son have guns. That lasted ... not very long.

From water guns, to space zappers, and bubble-blowing ones, there are guns everywhere. Even if you somehow manage to avoid all of them ... there are the fingers, which boys (and some girls) just seem genetically predisposed to point at others.

So I gave up and instead try to teach him only to shoot the bad guys, that real guns are dangerous, and all the other "good" lessons I want him to learn.

And yes, school rules are different than home rules, but it seems pretty extreme to ban boys (and some girls I'm sure)  from doing what they've done from the beginning of time. I get it -- violence in our schools is terrifying. I want my children as safe as the next person, but I also don't want them terrified to make a move or say or do anything that could possibly offend or scare someone when they're just kids having fun.

Do you think children should be banned from using their fingers as guns in schools?

Image via ganeshaisis/Flickr

activities, education, boys, in the news


To add a comment, please log in with

Use Your CafeMom Profile

Join CafeMom or Log in to your CafeMom account. CafeMom members can keep track of their comments.

Join CafeMom or Log in to your CafeMom account. CafeMom members can keep track of their comments.

Comment As a Guest

Guest comments are moderated and will not appear immediately.

meatb... meatball77

Doesn't sound like appropriate school play to me.  It's not like they expelled them they just told them to stop.

buffa... buffalove23

It's not appropriate play in school. I work in a daycare and pretending to play with guns is an automatic time out and speaking to the parents. My sister's elementary school you do that and you get removed from the classroom for a period of time and owe the teacher a written apology. We don't live in a time period where gun play is appropriate in school.

nonmember avatar Anon

I think it's idiotic. My kids are in preschool/daycare and do not have discipline problems. I got ONE note, though, several months ago, re my 4yo. "I never have problems with your daughters, but Miss X kept pretending to shoot her classmates [with her finger] today!" Come on. She learned that from her classmates in the first place! And it's just play! I hope they have also banned everything to do with pirates, who in real life were horribly violent. And pretending to be any carniverous animal - that should be off limits too. Ugh! I respect reasonable school rules but expecting a little child to act like an adult is too much. Tell them the time and place is not appropriate - fine. Tell them it makes them horrible people - not OK.


I think this is one of the most idiotic things I've ever heard of. Kids play. HELLO!!! Now we have "finger" rules? You've got to be kidding me. People really do need to calm down and relax. Or how about we drug all the kids so they just sit in a circle and don't move and they only act like robots! Seriously! Let them be kids. It's what childhood is about. Kids are in school all day long. I know there's a time and a place but how does anyone think this is that bad of a thing? Just say they can play later and move on. How is this even an issue?

meatb... meatball77

Of course there are finger rules.  Are kids allowed to flip eachother off without being told to stop or recieving punishments?

Pretending to kill your classmates isn't funny or cute and kids are capable of following rules.

Beths... Bethsunshine

Gosh, reading stuff like this makes me glad I homeschool!!!

Cheyenne Drassel

Yano, I could see the reasoning behind thisif they had toy guns that looked REAL. BUT. These children were using their IMAGINATIONS to immitate real life. Having said THAT, look at the world around you people. THIS is the world those children are growing up in. I'm sorry if you don't like it, but that's the harsh reality of it. I personally, as a parent, do not let my son play like this when I'm present simply because I do not want to raise a child who thinks it is ok to kill another "just because". And he certainly doen't have any toy guns, either. However, he does have lots of dress up costumes, one of which is a child's 'army-man' costume, as he puts it. And I certainly would NEVER discourage him from pretending to protect his family. Afterall, MANY a young boy grew up to WANTing to be a "real-life army-man". . . and it all started with a game of pretend. 

nonmember avatar turtleturtle

Kids play cops and robbers, nowadays things have gotten more intense because of video games. I caught my son playing call of duty with his classmates. I found out he knows all sorts of varietys of guns and all the names of the characters in the game. We don't own that video game but they can access it anywhere. I think its ok to play old fashioned cops and robbers and there's a time and a place. I don't however, think they should make a big hubub about it; nip it in the bud and let it go.I remember playing cops and robbers when I was a kid, I remember playing house. As children all we want is to be grown ups and do the fun stuff they do, its innocent. When it comes overboard like my son, where reality might not be so obvious after a while, there needs to be a course of action taken by the parents to make sure thos children know right from wrong, like I did with my 8 year old son. Turns out his uncle let him play call of duty, he got a good hand to the back of the head.

mothe... motherwanting6

Wow im shocked at some of these anwsers, growing up we played G.I joe, cops and robbers, cowboys and indians, and we all turned out ok. This is over the top in my opinion. Kids will always pretend to have guns and it dosent mean they will go out and shoot up their school with a real one. Come on people let kids be kids

Abbey Baxter

People need to chill out. They have the rule at my youngest son's Pre-k. They can't do any war play or guns, even with their fingers. I think it's insane, they're kids using their imagination. Unless he gets a stick and tries to hit someone with it (which he has not) I don't see the big deal. Are girls gonna be no longer allowed to play Mommy in school because they're not married and it might encourage teenage pregnancy? Let kids be kids and play, so long as they're not causing physically harm to one another.

1-10 of 20 comments 12 Last