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Old 01-04-2013, 03:14 PM   #31
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Something similar happened to my nephew in 2nd grade. He a group of boys were playing Star Wars on the playground and pointing finger at each other and saying "pyoo, pyoo." The teacher had a conversation with the boys and also had a conversation with my sister (and I'm assuming the other parents) My sister told my nephew, "You aren't allowed to pretend guns at school, it's against the rules, you will get in trouble next time." ...and it was done. No more incidences.

I think a 6 year old is perfectly capable of understanding and following rules. I have a 4 year old, she goes to preschool, she is able to follow the rules there. It seems that at least 2 conversations occurred regarding this behavior, one with the child and one with the parents warning that there would be a suspension if the behavior continued. I don't if there was any progressive discipline or not, but it does seem that the school did attempt to resolve this issue without suspension.
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Old 01-04-2013, 03:16 PM   #32
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People who are posting that 6 year olds should be able to follow rules; you do understand that he was suspended for "threatening to shoot a student" not for not following rules. You think a "pow pow" from a finger waved by a 6 year old is grounds for having that on your school records?
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Old 01-04-2013, 03:21 PM   #33
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Old 01-04-2013, 03:21 PM   #34
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Originally Posted by badblackpug View Post
Something similar happened to my nephew in 2nd grade. He a group of boys were playing Star Wars on the playground and pointing finger at each other and saying "pyoo, pyoo." The teacher had a conversation with the boys and also had a conversation with my sister (and I'm assuming the other parents) My sister told my nephew, "You aren't allowed to pretend guns at school, it's against the rules, you will get in trouble next time." ...and it was done. No more incidences.

I think a 6 year old is perfectly capable of understanding and following rules. I have a 4 year old, she goes to preschool, she is able to follow the rules there. It seems that at least 2 conversations occurred regarding this behavior, one with the child and one with the parents warning that there would be a suspension if the behavior continued. I don't if there was any progressive discipline or not, but it does seem that the school did attempt to resolve this issue without suspension.
Of course they can understand rules. But that doesn't mean they are going to think about them and follow them 100% of the time and the fact is this is a ridiculous rule.

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People who are posting that 6 year olds should be able to follow rules; you do understand that he was suspended for "threatening to shoot a student" not for not following rules. You think a "pow pow" from a finger waved by a 6 year old is grounds for having that on your school records?
This is true. They didn't say it was a matter of not following rules, they said he threatened another student. Uhmmm--no.
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Old 01-04-2013, 03:23 PM   #35
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Do we know that the girl he was pointing his finger at knew he was playing? Keep in mind, this happened the week after Sandy Hook. The kids may/may not have known about the shooting, that kids their age were shot and killed. Then you have a boy pointing a finger at a girl (who knows if he said anything) and said "pow"?

If this was a one time incident, I'd agree it doesn't deserve suspension. Apparently there's a history of this kid "threatening" others. Maybe he was playing if he said "I'm going to shoot you". It appears the child and one parent were told he could not do that. He continued to do so. Do we know what steps were taken previously? No, but they apparently didn't work. So what's next?
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Old 01-04-2013, 03:28 PM   #36
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People who are posting that 6 year olds should be able to follow rules; you do understand that he was suspended for "threatening to shoot a student" not for not following rules. You think a "pow pow" from a finger waved by a 6 year old is grounds for having that on your school records?
The child and the parents had been spoken to about this behavior in the past. The child was told not to do it again, and the parents were informed that if the child did it again he could face suspension. The child did it again and he was suspended. He broke the rules, he faced the consequences.

There are rules in my kids' school I,or they, don't like or don't agree with, but part of attending that school is adhering to the rules. If the school tells you you aren't allowed to point your finger and pretend it's a gun, you're not allowed to point your finger and pretend it's a gun. Is it a stupid rule? Maybe, but part of enrolling kids in a particular school is agreeing to follow the rules. It does sound, to me, like he was given adequate warning.

For instance, my 4 year old doesn't nap, but her school has nap time. She knows she has to lay on her cot during nap time and be quiet. Does she agree with it? No., she would rather play, but the rule is during nap time she must lay quietly on her cot, so she does, awake, the whole time, every day. I don't make her nap at home, but she knows the rules at home and school may be different.

I think the finger pointing thing comes from the fact that while some children may be using it as just play, like my nephew, but some children may also use it as a threatening gesture, as in "I'm going to shoot you," because they are angry at another child. I would think that it would be just about impossible to explain the subtle differences to a 6 year old, so it's better to just say, "No shooting gestures."

Also, in the wake of Sandy Hook, many children may, indeed, be scared or worried about school shootings, and this gesture, given recent events, may be frightening to another 6 year old.
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Old 01-04-2013, 03:34 PM   #37
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Of course they can understand rules. But that doesn't mean they are going to think about them and follow them 100% of the time and the fact is this is a ridiculous rule.



This is true. They didn't say it was a matter of not following rules, they said he threatened another student. Uhmmm--no.
..but whether or not one agrees with the rule, it is still a rule and has to be followed. There are quite a few rules I find stupid, that have to be followed. My son is in middle school, there are certain door they have to enter the school through (a 6th grade, 7th grade, 8th grade entrance) I think this is stupid, especially since the 7th grade entrance is about 6 houses away from my front door, and the 6th grade entrance is requires him to walk another block. It's a stupid rule, but it's a rule and he has to follow it or face the consequences.

...and, no, children won't follow the rules all the time, I've got 4 kids and I am painfully aware of that, that is why there are consequences to not following the rules, to make them think twice before they do it again.
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Old 01-04-2013, 04:45 PM   #38
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..but whether or not one agrees with the rule, it is still a rule and has to be followed. There are quite a few rules I find stupid, that have to be followed. My son is in middle school, there are certain door they have to enter the school through (a 6th grade, 7th grade, 8th grade entrance) I think this is stupid, especially since the 7th grade entrance is about 6 houses away from my front door, and the 6th grade entrance is requires him to walk another block. It's a stupid rule, but it's a rule and he has to follow it or face the consequences.

...and, no, children won't follow the rules all the time, I've got 4 kids and I am painfully aware of that, that is why there are consequences to not following the rules, to make them think twice before they do it again.
Suspending a child for pointing a finger and calling it "threatening" is ridiculous.

And again, they didn't exactly say that the punishment was for continually not following the rules, they said it was for threatening another student.

This is another case of ridiculous reactions to things that are happening in our world. This child is no more likely to pull a gun on someone someday than the little girl he pointed his finger at is. He was using his imagination to play, something kids have done since the beginning of time.

While I can see where you are coming from on following rules, I can fully support the parents acting against the school. This kid in now way should have a school record following him around that says he was suspended for threatening a kid with his finger.

The reasons for this and other stupid rules is that it makes someone feel like something is being done to help combat violence in schools when in reality it is doing absolutely nothing. Violent video games stand a bigger chance of being the cause of school violence than pointing a finger at someone.

Maybe if these parents and other parents raise enough stink, the school systems will make a few changes in these ridiculous rules.

While I don't teach my kids to go around breaking rules, I don't teach them to be sheep either. And I teach them to stand up for what they believe them. Stupid rules do not have to just be followed, they can be changed. If this was my kid, I would be shouting from the roof tops or letting my lawyer do it to let everyone know how silly this is and unjust it is to the kid.
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Old 01-04-2013, 05:23 PM   #39
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People who are posting that 6 year olds should be able to follow rules; you do understand that he was suspended for "threatening to shoot a student" not for not following rules. You think a "pow pow" from a finger waved by a 6 year old is grounds for having that on your school records?
And I hope they are consistent. If little Johnny is told X number of times to stop coloring on little Susie's paper and he keeps doing it, he should be suspended for not following the rules too, right? And the kid who keeps refusing to throw away his milk carton at lunch? And the kid who keeps coughing without covering his mouth? I mean, rules are rules. And when kids don't follow them the punishment must be harsh to show them that we're not fooling around.

Or are only the rules against playing "shoot 'em up pow pow" worth suspension? And the reason for that would be???????
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Old 01-04-2013, 05:28 PM   #40
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While I don't teach my kids to go around breaking rules, I don't teach them to be sheep either. And I teach them to stand up for what they believe them. Stupid rules do not have to just be followed, they can be changed. If this was my kid, I would be shouting from the roof tops or letting my lawyer do it to let everyone know how silly this is and unjust it is to the kid.
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Old 01-04-2013, 05:32 PM   #41
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Suspending a child for pointing a finger and calling it "threatening" is ridiculous.
Let's be honest now. The letter from the school said he's suspended for "threatening". The PARENTS say the "threatening" action was him pointing his finger. We do not know the full story. What if he went up to the girl and said "I don't like you, I'm going to kill you. Pow." Is that just a child "playing"?
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Old 01-04-2013, 05:39 PM   #42
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Suspending a child for pointing a finger and calling it "threatening" is ridiculous.

And again, they didn't exactly say that the punishment was for continually not following the rules, they said it was for threatening another student.

This is another case of ridiculous reactions to things that are happening in our world. This child is no more likely to pull a gun on someone someday than the little girl he pointed his finger at is. He was using his imagination to play, something kids have done since the beginning of time.

While I can see where you are coming from on following rules, I can fully support the parents acting against the school. This kid in now way should have a school record following him around that says he was suspended for threatening a kid with his finger.

The reasons for this and other stupid rules is that it makes someone feel like something is being done to help combat violence in schools when in reality it is doing absolutely nothing. Violent video games stand a bigger chance of being the cause of school violence than pointing a finger at someone.

Maybe if these parents and other parents raise enough stink, the school systems will make a few changes in these ridiculous rules.

While I don't teach my kids to go around breaking rules, I don't teach them to be sheep either. And I teach them to stand up for what they believe them. Stupid rules do not have to just be followed, they can be changed. If this was my kid, I would be shouting from the roof tops or letting my lawyer do it to let everyone know how silly this is and unjust it is to the kid.

The problem here, is that we don't know what steps led up to the suspension and what was actually said to the child/parents.

Unfortunately, though, as stupid as it may seem, this is a rule in many schools. It is a rule that is grounded in some thought somewhere. It may not be one with which people agree, and there are many rules with which people don't agree, but if one chooses to disobey a rule, they choose to accept the consequences.

I just re-read the article. The child was counseled twice about his behavior, once by the assistant principal, and once by a counselor in an "extended conversation." The child's parents were also spoken to by the assistant principal and warned that further incidents of this nature could result in suspension. I'm not sure how many more "warnings" the school should give.

Maybe the child didn't see the gesture as threatening, but the girl whom he did it to did. In light of Sandy Hook, this is very possible. Also, it's the parents and their attorney's side of the story that he said "pow" and was playing, but since neither was there to witness the incident, other than the child's say-so we don't know if that's what truly happened, or if there is more to the story.

I guess my point is that it is a rule. Had it been my child and he had been spoken to twice, as well as I had been informed that another such incident would result in suspension I would make sure that my child knew that he wasn't allowed to do this at school, whether I agreed with it, or not. It's not going to stifle a child if he is told he can't play guns only while at school. There are a ton of things that kids are allowed to do at home that aren't appropriate at school.
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Old 01-04-2013, 05:56 PM   #43
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The problem here, is that we don't know what steps led up to the suspension and what was actually said to the child/parents.

Unfortunately, though, as stupid as it may seem, this is a rule in many schools. It is a rule that is grounded in some thought somewhere. It may not be one with which people agree, and there are many rules with which people don't agree, but if one chooses to disobey a rule, they choose to accept the consequences.

I just re-read the article. The child was counseled twice about his behavior, once by the assistant principal, and once by a counselor in an "extended conversation." The child's parents were also spoken to by the assistant principal and warned that further incidents of this nature could result in suspension. I'm not sure how many more "warnings" the school should give.

Maybe the child didn't see the gesture as threatening, but the girl whom he did it to did. In light of Sandy Hook, this is very possible. Also, it's the parents and their attorney's side of the story that he said "pow" and was playing, but since neither was there to witness the incident, other than the child's say-so we don't know if that's what truly happened, or if there is more to the story.

I guess my point is that it is a rule. Had it been my child and he had been spoken to twice, as well as I had been informed that another such incident would result in suspension I would make sure that my child knew that he wasn't allowed to do this at school, whether I agreed with it, or not. It's not going to stifle a child if he is told he can't play guns only while at school. There are a ton of things that kids are allowed to do at home that aren't appropriate at school.
So, what if the suspension does diddly? What if little Johnny comes back to school and he still has a hard time keeping himself from playing shoot 'em up? Are we going to suspend him again? And again? And again? Isn't it quite possible that this is not the most reasonable or effective punishment for a 6 yo committing this type of offense?

I do realize that some people are just "rules are rules" kinds of people regardless of how absurd and if that's the kind of world you want to live in, so be it, but I'm not living in it with you. My world needs to make sense. And this doesn't make sense.
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Old 01-04-2013, 06:31 PM   #44
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So, what if the suspension does diddly? What if little Johnny comes back to school and he still has a hard time keeping himself from playing shoot 'em up? Are we going to suspend him again? And again? And again? Isn't it quite possible that this is not the most reasonable or effective punishment for a 6 yo committing this type of offense?

I do realize that some people are just "rules are rules" kinds of people regardless of how absurd and if that's the kind of world you want to live in, so be it, but I'm not living in it with you. My world needs to make sense. And this doesn't make sense.
It may well be the case that it is not effective, we don't know. At 6 my kids loved school and would have been very upset to be told they aren't allowed to go, but that's my kids.

What do you propose do do, though? The school can't allow parents to pick and choose which rules they choose to follow. I'm sure that this rule was made with some thought process in mind. I don't know if I agree with it, or what it was, but I am sure it was there.

So how is this handled? Should the child just be allowed to do as he pleases because he or the parents don't agree with the rule? There is certainly merit to civil disobedience, but even Gandhi realized there were consequences to actions and chose to accept them, and his cause was quite a bit more important than being able to play guns in school.

Any parents are more than welcome to withdraw their kids from a school and find an alternative educational solution if they disagree with the school's rules.

My daughter's school doesn't allow cell phone use during school hours. The consequences are losing the phone, detentions, and suspensions. She doesn't agree with this rule. She thinks as long as she is not disruptive and getting good grades in class she should be able to text and FB. Should I tell her "just go ahead, you don't have to follow rules with which you don't agree, and you won't have to suffer the consequence?"

Not being able to play guns in school is hardly a violation of the kids' civil rights.
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Old 01-04-2013, 06:46 PM   #45
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It may well be the case that it is not effective, we don't know. At 6 my kids loved school and would have been very upset to be told they aren't allowed to go, but that's my kids.
Not my kids...they would've said "woohoo I can sleep late!!!!". That's not a punishment

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What do you propose do do, though? The school can't allow parents to pick and choose which rules they choose to follow. I'm sure that this rule was made with some thought process in mind. I don't know if I agree with it, or what it was, but I am sure it was there.
I happen to disagree that just because a rule exists means there was some rational thought process at play. Knee jerk reaction. Easy blanket policy. It takes too much time and effort to look at each situation for what it is and respond accordingly. Plus someone might cry foul if you do.

I also disagree that the parents are the ones doing the choosing. Many keep acting like the parents have some sort of control over what their kid does while he's in school. They don't. They could very well have told him that this behavior is unacceptable. They could've told him he would be suspended if he continued. Heck, they could be beating him to a pulp over this at home but it'll still be up to him to ultimately decide what he's going to do when they aren't around.

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So how is this handled? Should the child just be allowed to do as he pleases because he or the parents don't agree with the rule? There is certainly merit to civil disobedience, but even Gandhi realized there were consequences to actions and chose to accept them, and his cause was quite a bit more important than being able to play guns in school.
Of course there should be consequences. Appropriate ones. Immediately after the action takes place. Remove him from the situation. Speak with him about the behavior each and every time it happens. Perhaps allow for simple rewards for good behavior. It's called behavioral modification. We all do it all the time with our kids.
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Any parents are more than welcome to withdraw their kids from a school and find an alternative educational solution if they disagree with the school's rules.
Maybe I'm wrong but I haven't seen any evidence that the parents are upset that their kid can't play pow pow....just that they don't think the suspension was an appropriate consequence. I don't think little Mary should be suspended because she refuses to throw her lunch tray away either, after her teacher has told her every day for 3 months to do so. Should Mary's mother just homeschool if her public school feels otherwise?

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My daughter's school doesn't allow cell phone use during school hours. The consequences are losing the phone, detentions, and suspensions. She doesn't agree with this rule. She thinks as long as she is not disruptive and getting good grades in class she should be able to text and FB. Should I tell her "just go ahead, you don't have to follow rules with which you don't agree, and you won't have to suffer the consequence?"
Of course not, not the same thing. Your daughter is probably not 6.

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Not being able to play guns in school is hardly a violation of the kids' civil rights.
You are right but that's not the crux of the argument. It's about how to handle a very young child who who doen't seem to be able to get the notion that it's not appropriate behavior on school grounds.
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