Here is an e-mail I received last night…
A Madison City School suspended a seven-year old boy today for having a piece of paper with drawings of firearms on it. His father was told he was being suspended for one day for “extensive knowledge of firearms” and for possessing drawings of guns on a piece of paper. His father is a Federal Agent and a firearms instructor for his agency, so naturally his son has knowledge of firearms, what to do if he sees a gun, etc.
When the father got to school, his son began crying because he thought his dad was being arrested. A school resource officer was present, and another police officer had been called to the scene. The child’s bag had been searched for weapons. The principal began to question the father about whether the son has access to firearms in the house, how many firearms are in the home, etc. (The father has no personally-owned weapons – only weapons issued to him by his employer. All of his weapons are secured in a safe and his son has no access to firearms.)
Apparently, the incident occurred because the child had drawn pictures of guns on a piece of paper and another boy wanted the drawings because he liked them. When the “offender” did not want to give away his drawings, the other child told on him for not sharing (not for possessing drawings of guns). The teacher investigated and sent the child to the principal when she saw drawings of guns. There was no indication of a threat and the principal never articulated that anyone at the school felt threatened or viewed the child as a threat.
I’ve reviewed the Student Code of Conduct (attached) and I am unable to find a policy the child violated. On page 21, there is reference to correspondence, notes, etc that suggest violence, but that was not cited by the principal and clearly does not apply here.
There may be some “catch all” violation, but the school’s investigation clearly sought to determine the seven year-old’s access to firearms. This is clearly a mindless, knee-jerk reaction to last week’s horrible shooting in CT. Victimizing seven year-old boys for being boys is not going to fix this. The father is trying to explain to his child that he did nothing wrong, but he was still suspended from school.
FYI – like most boys, I grew up playing cops and robbers with toy guns. I doodled pictures of guns in the margins of my notebooks while in school. My father gave me a shotgun for bird-hunting when I was a teenager, and I purchased my first firearm at 21 years old. I have carried a gun professionally for nearly 17 years and I have never shot anyone. Who would have guessed a boy that doodled guns in the margins of his notebooks would NOT grow up to be a killer? I mean – all the signs were there….
We are working on getting the father on the air and trying to get more information.
The overreaction to this is beginning but only because the public is demanding it.
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