5-Year-Old Girl Suspended For Making a 'Terrorist Threat' -- With Her Hello Kitty Bubble Gun

Say What!? 25

It's not news that there is a zero tolerance policy in schools over a whole range of issues -- kids are punished for everything from eating mints to a wearing a weird hairstyle. So I guess this story shouldn't come as a total surprise. But it's still unbelievably wacky. A 5-year-old girl was reportedly suspended from kindergarten for threatening to shoot another child -- with her Hello Kitty bubble gun!

The unidentified little girl was suspended for making a "terrorist threat" with her bubble gun. Apparently the girl had suggested that she and a friend "shoot each other" -- um, with bubbles -- and the girl didn't even have the gun on her at school.

She was originally suspended for 10 days, but after the family lawyered up, it was reduced to two. But the family wants this incident wiped from her record entirely. Says the family lawyer:

This little girl is the least terroristic person in Pennsylvania. This logic, which was not said in malice, came from the mind of this beautiful 5-year-old child who was playing with her friends, whom she hugs every day.

The girl received a psychological evaluation, and was found to be no threat to others. Says her mother:
 
All I know is what my daughter has told me and she said she was told she could go to jail, which is a very traumatic thing for a 5-year-old to live with.
 
Well, the school was between a rock and a hard place here. It's not unheard of for very young children to bring real guns to school. And if she'd said something, and then something bad DID happen, and it was found out the school did nothing about it, then they'd be sued for that. (Note the word "trauma" here: The standard legal byword for "we're going to sue you.")
 
I personally don't think there should be toys in the shape of guns being sold to kids. And I don't think kids should play with them. But since they are legal, and kids do play with them, then how are you going to prevent kids from talking about them while at school?
 
A better tack here might have been to call the parents and have a conference between them and the child, and explain why one should never threaten to shoot another child -- even if it's just with bubbles.
 
Should this little girl have been suspended? What should the school have done?

 

Image via ABC

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