Schools should be a safe zone where students can learn and grow. With this, schools have a responsibility to both students and parents to make sure children are safe and comfortable.
But sometimes, zero tolerance policies and political correctness can make it difficult for schools to decide whether there is a credible gun threat, or just a kid with a strawberry Pop-Tart.
A 7-year-old second grader in Maryland was suspended after nibbling his breakfast pastry in the shape of a gun
, the Baltimore Sun first reported.
Josh Welch was suspended in March for two days after school officials accused him of shaping his strawberry pastry into the form of a gun and waving it around.
"They tried to brand this kid and throw him under the bus, and he's going to be in the school system for more than 10 years," attorney for the family, Robin Ficker, said.
A 5-year-old kindergarten student in Pennsylvania was suspended from school after saying she would shoot classmates, then herself...with bubbles
Despite not even having the pink, "Hello Kitty" bubble gun with her, the child told her friends about her bubble gun while waiting in line for the school bus in January. The next day, she was suspended, first for ten days, before the mother talked the principal down to two.
A Maryland kindergartener was suspended for 10 days in June for showing a student his cowboy-style toy cap gun.
Although his suspension was later revoked, the incident will remain on the child's record. The 5-year-old's mother told The Washington Post that her son was was interrogated for two hours by Calvert County school officials, causing her son to wet himself.
An 8-year-old Florida boy was suspended last month after using his finger to simulate a gun.
Jordan Bennett was playing a game of cops and robbers at school when he used his finger as an invisible gun and said "pow pow."
"I'm in advanced math so I'm going to have to redo all the homework I'm going to miss for advanced math," the boy said.
Two Virginia middle school students were suspended for a full year for playing with air soft guns in September. The kicker: they were at one of the boys' house, not at school
Seventh graders Aidan Clark and Khalid Caraballo were suspended after a concerned neighbor called police, despite telling the dispatcher that she knew the guns were toys. Police did not press charges.
"I won't get the chance to go to a good college," Caraballo said. "It's on your school record. The school said I had possession of a firearm. They aren't going to ask me any questions. They are going to think it was a real gun, and I was trying to hurt someone. They will say 'oh, we can't accept you.'"
An amusement park prize that 12-year-old Joseph Lyssikatos won resulted in a three day suspension
The prize was a small, gun-shaped keychain no bigger than a quarter. The Rhode Island school allegedly told the parents their child was "lucky" that he wasn't expelled.
"This is bordering on insanity over here," his father told the local radio station.