Where one pair of parents saw innocent drawings of ninjas and soldiers, school administrators reportedly saw disturbing and threatening images.
Last week, the parents pulled their sons out of Scottsdale Country Day School in Arizona after the school’s headmaster reportedly threatened to expel their 8-year-old over a set of drawings. According to the child’s father, the drawings of a soldier, ninja and Star Wars character were meant to depict Halloween costumes. However, school administrators were upset that the drawings showed each character holding either a knife or a gun, according to CBS local affiliate KPHO-TV.
The school’s headmaster was also reportedly upset about what he saw as violent passages from the child’s journal, including ones about scenarios with killer zombies. The child’s father, Jeff, whose last name was omitted from the report, told KPHO that the journal contained other passages about saving the world and that his son has no history of violence.
Kathy Prahcharov, the school’s director of operations, told The Huffington Post that reports of the incident have been inaccurate. While she could not elaborate on what happened for confidentiality reasons, she said the student “was not threatened or expelled from the school.”
The charter school’s handbook states that “[a]ny behavior that is deemed threatening such as violent behavior, drawings depicting weapons, blood, or aggression” can be grounds for expulsion.
A number of schools across the country appear to have cracked down on students who use drawings, food or toys to depict guns and violence. In recent months, students have been suspended for actions such as chewing pastries into the shapes of guns or having gun key chains.