10-Year-Old Suspended for Pointing His Finger at Classmate's Head Like a Gun

Nathan Entingh, a 10-year-old boy from Columbus, Ohio, pointed a finger at a fellow classmate and was suspended. Yes, that happened. But this particular fifth-grader was mimicking a gun and pointed it at a fellow student’s head, an act that went against the zero-tolerance policy that the school apparently takes very seriously. Now, I’m all for not promoting gun violence, but doesn’t it seem like the school has taken things too far?

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In his suspension letter, the boy’s pointed finger was called a “level 2 lookalike firearm.” These sort of gestures have reportedly been an issue for the school district for a while, with notices being sent home with students as warnings, but this particular 10-year-old threw caution to the wind and did it. He pointed his finger and was suspended.

I have to say, suspending a student for pointing his finger like a gun, a gesture that would physically harm NO ONE, is totally overreacting -- even in an environment of zero-tolerance. Perhaps if the boy had threatened the other child at the same time as pointing a "level 2 lookalike firearm" formation and then stuck his finger in the child's eye, it would be an issue. But he should not be suspended for merely pointing a harmless finger. This punishment does not fit the crime.

Boys have an odd attraction to pretend gun play, something that I never understood and one I don't witness very often since I just have a daughter, but I've seen it plenty of times at the playground. It just seems to be a factor of "boys will be boys" and it is what I would call classic kid behavior. To be suspended for that is totally overkill. A stern talking to or writing on the chalkboard 100 times saying, "I will not pretend my finger is a gun" seems far more appropriate than a suspension.

Do you think that the school overreacted or do you think schools should have a strike zero-tolerance policy?


Image via Bart Mcguire/Flickr

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