Ohio student who pointed finger as gun suspended for 3 days
Boy says he was 'just playing around,' but Columbus school has zero-tolerance policy on mock gunplay
A 10-year-old U.S. boy was suspended from school for three days for pretending his finger was a gun and pointing it at another student's head, the principal said.
The boy's father says it's the adults who are acting childish for suspending the boy from his school in Columbus, Ohio, last week.
Since zero-tolerance policies were adopted following school shootings around the United States, Columbus schools have disciplined students for violations including firing a Nerf brand foam-dart gun at school. A similar policy was cited last year when a Maryland school suspended a seven-year-old boy who had chewed a Pop-Tart into a gun shape.
The Ohio boy said he was "just playing around," but school district spokesman Jeff Warner told a local newspaper that Devonshire Principal Patricia Price has warned students about pretend gun play numerous times this year, and everyone should know the rules by now. He said warnings have been included in three newsletters sent home with kids.
Warner says the boy put his finger to the side of the other student's head and pretended to shoot "kind of execution style."
"The kids were told, 'If you don't stop doing this type of stuff, there would be consequences,"' Warner said. "It's just been escalating."
The boy's father said no one felt threatened. The other student didn't see it happen, but a teacher witnessed it.
"I was just playing around," said the fifth-grader, who had never been in trouble before. "People play around like this a lot at my school."