School has just begun for most kids, and along with the pencils and notebooks that the students brought to one school in Pennsylvania was a gun -- a loaded gun. It was found in a 5-year-old's backpack in Aliquippa, Pennsylvania, after a classmate told the teacher about it. These kids are in kindergarten. And there was a loaded gun in a kindergarten student's backpack. Terrifying. The boy was suspended, but I don't think he should have been. He has a very good reason why he brought the gun to school.
The child said he found it on a bed in his house and didn't want his 3-year-old brother to get it, so he packed it in a place he thought was safe.
The child's grandmother, Nicole Lutle, spoke to WPXI and said:
He put it in his book bag and forgot it was in there .... For them to say he’s aggressive, that’s a lie. It’s not that this child was bad. It’s not that this child had a temper because all of that is a lie.
This whole story is worrisome on so many levels. I have 5-year-old twins who are in kindergarten. The thought of either of them somehow handling a loaded gun scares me to my core. The thought of them being in a classroom where another child brings in a gun is equally frightening. I am so thankful this story didn't turn out worse. But I also do not think this child should be suspended -- his parents should be. They should be charged somehow. If what this child said was true, he was protecting his 3-year-old brother. He didn't want him to get the gun, which was reportedly loaded and lying on a bed in their home.
That decision may have saved this boy's brother's life. Of course there are so many ways this could have played out and thank everything everywhere that no one was harmed. Kids and guns do not mix in my opinion. Ever. Not even at a shooting range -- the story of a 9-year-old accidentally killing her firing range instructor is proof of that. But I just can't stop thinking about a loaded gun lying on a bed with a 3- and 5-year-old in the home. I can't stop thinking that what this kid did was sincerely what he thought was the right thing.
What do you think? Should the child be suspended? Should any action be taken against the parents?
Image via Mika Jarvinen/Flickr