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

in the news, safety, guns


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ethan... ethans_momma06


There is seriously something wrong with the school system, and I'm beginning to think that it's not just the scholastic aspect.

We need to stop criminalizing children for being and playing like children.

allie... alliesaurus

I just need to point out that thing looks more like a blow dryer than a gun. Does this mean the days of kids playing with squirt guns are over? Come on get a grip people.

I wonder how this came up though...did a teacher just overhear and decide to overreact or was the girls friend actually scared?



Doomy234 Doomy234

Completely agree with ethans_momma.

small... smallfryes

God, I'm so angry right now.  Yes, Ms. Blakely, it is trauma.  Had you read any other article, there are several out there, you would know that the little girl was questioned by school officials for three hours, without her parents knowledge.  And you're making it out to be no big deal.  Those monkeys at that school had this child believe she was going to prison!  They called her a terrorist.  Before they questioned her, her teacher called her out in front of her class and said the police were going to be called.  The child was crying after the interrogation.  She probably is still upset.  The school is not commenting right now except for saying that they did nothing really wrong.

The monkeys in this school should be imprisoned for traumatizing this child.  Do you not get that through your thick skull Ms. Blakely?!  Oh but by all means, let's make this about guns that shoot bubbles.

i think your head shoots bubbles.

handy... handy0318

It's time for parents to take schools to task for this "zero tolerance" insanity.  Zero tolerance is just another word for "We can't be bothered to take real action against real problems."  How many stories are we going to put up with before we, as parents, start making the schools behave like rational adults instead of blethering idiots.  

Just off the top of my head I can think of these headlines that have been reported:

Girl is suspended for bringing fork to school in lunch box.

Boy suspended for pointing finger at another child.

Boy suspended for playing cops and robbers.

Boy suspended for drawing a picture of a soldier holding a gun. (The soldier was a relative.)

Girl suspended for writing a poem about Sandy Hook. 

...the list goes on.  How can we expect our children to respect school authority, when they act this way. 

Flori... Floridamom96

Why do any parents anywhere still put their children in government schools? How can anyone be surprised by this? It has been going on like this for at least 10 years.

kelti... kelticmom

Flordiamom, because unfortunately not all parents can afford to private school or homeschool their children. This is why every state needs vouchers so that if parent chooses not to send their child to public school, their tax money can actually go to schooling THEIR child at a school of THEIR choice, not someone else's. Kiri Blakley, this article SUCKED. This little girl was very much traumatized (a psychiatric evaluation, really?), and you dumb it down to "I don't think little kids should play with gun shaped toys anyway". And if I was her parents, damn straight I would sue the crap outta that school, just to make a point of how ridiculous and out of hand things have become!

CPN322 CPN322

That thing doesn't even look like a gun to me. This is ridiculous.

Nycti... Nyctimene

I agree with Handy.

It's ridiculous. They suspend and expel gradeschoolers for pointing chicken strips that look vaguely like gun shape or saying 'bam bam' in the hallway but let real threats like Kyle Bangayan go.

Stupid. Zero tolerance is more like zero intelligence.

Flori... Floridamom96

Keltic, I agree that something needs to be done allowing parents more freedom of choice in educating their children. I would argue that the best solution is for the government to get out of the business all together and every single penny people pay in taxes for schools be completely abolished. Then parents may choose, with their own money, how to educate their children. I have in the past and know many others who sacrifice greatly to live on one income so that they may homeschool.

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