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Old 01-04-2013, 06:06 PM   #46
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pacrosby View Post
Not my kids...they would've said "woohoo I can sleep late!!!!". That's not a punishment



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.



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.

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?



Of course not, not the same thing. Your daughter is probably not 6.



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.
So where do we draw the line? How many times does a child get "spoken to" before they meet with some consequence. We do know that this child was spoken to on two occasions, we don't know if there was progressive discipline.

I think if the parents were in agreement and had told the child not to do it, then they wouldn't be complaining about the consequences, because they did warn him what they would be. Whether, or not, the consequences are effective almost always depends on the child. I have 4, they vary greatly in personality. If my 12 year old was suspended, he would be devastated, my 15 year old would be thrilled.

I get that you think that suspension is inappropriate for 1st graders, but, obviously, talking to him doesn't work. He has been spoken to. As for positive reinforcement that's very difficult in a classroom situation. "Johnny, you didn't pretend to shoot someone for 2 days, here's a treat." Well, 19 other children didn't pretend to shoot anyone, ever. Where is their every 2 day treat?

It's a tough situation. We don't know what really happened. We only have the parents side of the story, and the response to their story from the school, we don't have all the details.

If it were the 1st incident I would be inclined to say, "ridiculous!" but since this has been an ongoing issue I need more information before I condemn the school for their actions.
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Old 01-04-2013, 06:18 PM   #47
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I think a more meaningful punishment for a child this age (if it's warranted - don't have enough info) would be missing recess and any other 'fun' things - assemblies, etc, after he's been spoken to a few times.

I think it's a very reasonable punishment, almost a natural consequence "kid, you're making the other children very uncomfortable/scared/angry/whatever with what you're doing, so you can't play around them until you stop".
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Old 01-04-2013, 06:40 PM   #48
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Originally Posted by bellebud View Post
I think a more meaningful punishment for a child this age (if it's warranted - don't have enough info) would be missing recess and any other 'fun' things - assemblies, etc, after he's been spoken to a few times.

I think it's a very reasonable punishment, almost a natural consequence "kid, you're making the other children very uncomfortable/scared/angry/whatever with what you're doing, so you can't play around them until you stop".
My problem is we don't know if that happened. I would think that lesser forms of discipline were tried before suspension, but we don't know. Usually that's the case that it progresses to suspension when lesser things are no effective.
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Old 01-04-2013, 06:48 PM   #49
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Okay, I just read the update. The suspension was lifted by the principal, but the lawyer won't publish the ruling because "it is critical of the child." However, it appears there were 4 such incidences on the day he was suspended. One where he used scissors, to pretend having a gun, and 3 where he was sent to the principal's office each time. It seems after the 5th incident on that day, and previous counseling and the parents being previously warned, the child was suspended.
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Old 01-04-2013, 06:59 PM   #50
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Okay, I just read the update. The suspension was lifted by the principal, but the lawyer won't publish the ruling because "it is critical of the child." However, it appears there were 4 such incidences on the day he was suspended. One where he used scissors, to pretend having a gun, and 3 where he was sent to the principal's office each time. It seems after the 5th incident on that day, and previous counseling and the parents being previously warned, the child was suspended.
Him using scissors is way different than using his fingers. If I were the parent of the child he were doing this to, I'd be upset about the scissors. Sounds like more is going on with this child than your average kid.
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Old 01-04-2013, 07:07 PM   #51
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Him using scissors is way different than using his fingers. If I were the parent of the child he were doing this to, I'd be upset about the scissors. Sounds like more is going on with this child than your average kid.

I agree, especially that many instances in a single day, 3 of which he was sent to the principal. That, on top of the fact that both he and the family had been previously counseled about the behavior is a problem.

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Old 01-04-2013, 07:14 PM   #52
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I agree that kids need to learn that there are consequences for breaking rules, however there should be NO rule against using a finger as a gun! That is a totally natural thing for a little boy to do and making a rule against it is as silly as making a rule that little boys shouldn't pick their noses! Drawing a picture of a person holding a gun and pretending your finger or some Legos are a gun are totally natural normal things that should not be banned. There was a story a while back about a little boy that had crazy hat day at his school. He was in elementary and he designed his hat as a tribute to soldiers. His hat had American flags and little soldier men on it. Because some of the little green plastic army men had little green plastic guns his hat was taken by the principle. This countries fear of all things gun related has caused people to loose all common sense!
I would agree with you if we were talking pre-schoolers.

However, you are not giving 1st graders enough credit. They are perfectly able to know the difference between making lego guns at school and at home. Same with finger guns.

I have been on the playground with 1st graders. If they start playing a shooting game, one reminder of "Johnny, remember, no guns in school, even pretend ones." You get an apology and they don't do it again.

The first graders are few and far between that cannot control these "boy impulses" as you call them. They are perfectly capable of knowing they are not supposed to do this in school.

I have a friend whose 1st grader has been through hunter safety courses and goes hunting with them. He is very capable of understanding when guns are appropriate.

Really, saying a first grader does not understand and cannot control their impulses is grossly underestimating the capabilities of these smart little humans.
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Old 01-04-2013, 07:17 PM   #53
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Certain rules just seem to be there to set children up for failure. Boys WILL point fingers to pretend to shoot. You cannot make them not do it. My BIL refused to get his son any violent toy. They were very hippy dippy, green, tree hugging vegetarians. The child would pick up sticks or use his finger to point and shoot. That's what they do (at this age, anyway. I would not be saying the same thing if the child was 10).
However, the first grader is very capable of understanding that you cannot have finger guns in school, that they should play "war" or "cops and robbers" after school and on weekends.
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Old 01-04-2013, 07:31 PM   #54
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Not allowing a kid to point his finger and say "POW" is not now nor will it ever stop violence in school or guns being brought to school or mentally ill people storming in with guns and shooting up schools. Its not going to fix the problem.

The rule is stupid. The "consequences" are stupid. Plain and simple.

ALL children (especially boys) will pick up a block, a stick, a rock or their finger and say "pow, pow" at some point in their lives of playing pretend. Its called using their imagination! It used to be what we WANTED kids to do.

Kid need to understand that school rules are to be followed and that there are consequences for not following the rules. BUT, there should be some common sense to the rules that are made and that needs to come from the adults.

I find it ridiculous that not one person has ever been shot by anyone and the ultimate reason be "because he was allowed to point his finger and say pow as a kid". Its been because of music and video games--but those are still around (not saying it IS the fault of music or video games), its been said that its because of violent movies--no rules against those, its been said that its a lack of parenting--no new rules/laws about parents taking responsibility for their kids' actions. What new rule do we make and enforce to prevent violence in schools--no pointing a finger and saying POW. Yep. That ought to work
Would you please link some credible studies that show that forbidding certain play will never work?

I have to agree with the poster that said it sets up the expectation of no guns in school, period. If the rule has made one child think twice before bringing Daddy's AK57 for show and tell, the rule is accceptable.

Rules are not for the mentally ill. You are right, it won't stop them. Rules are to keep honest people honest.
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Old 01-04-2013, 09:12 PM   #55
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Originally Posted by Hrhpd View Post
However, the first grader is very capable of understanding that you cannot have finger guns in school, that they should play "war" or "cops and robbers" after school and on weekends.
I agree. Six year olds are perfectly capable of following rules. I have two sons who played with toy swords and guns at home all of the time. They knew from the time they started school what behavior was acceptable. I don't care what the rule is. If the school tells them not to do it, they are not to do it. I don't understand parents who don't have a problem with their kids breaking rules and make excuses for their behavior just because they don't agree with the rules.
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Old 01-04-2013, 09:15 PM   #56
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I got suspended once for letting the Principal know he is no 1
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Old 01-04-2013, 09:24 PM   #57
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I got suspended once for letting the Principal know he is no 1
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Old 01-04-2013, 09:25 PM   #58
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I totally agree, this child is an obvious budding threat to society and should be dealt with quickly and swiftly. I suggest a reform school that will teach him that the only honorable and acceptable place for a six year old's finger to be is up his own nose
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Old 01-04-2013, 09:31 PM   #59
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I totally agree, this child is an obvious budding threat to society and should be dealt with quickly and swiftly. I suggest a reform school that will teach him that the only honorable and acceptable place for a six year old's finger to be is up his own nose
Whew, for a second there I thought you were going to say something other than "nose".
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Old 01-04-2013, 09:37 PM   #60
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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.
I agree. He continued to do what he was told not to do. I don't care whether he was just playing or not. Also, it really didn't sound like this was at recess where they were playing cowboys or whatever. It sounds like he was doing it in the classroom.


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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"?
And those things do happen. We've had to deal with it.


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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.
^ This.


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Okay, I just read the update. The suspension was lifted by the principal, but the lawyer won't publish the ruling because "it is critical of the child." However, it appears there were 4 such incidences on the day he was suspended. One where he used scissors, to pretend having a gun, and 3 where he was sent to the principal's office each time. It seems after the 5th incident on that day, and previous counseling and the parents being previously warned, the child was suspended.
I think they were fair in suspending him. Nothing else seemed to be getting his attention. Hopefully, the parents are handling it now because they weren't before. For whatever reason, the boy refused to do as he was asked. IMHO, I think it's unfortunate that some find it easier to find fault with the rule and the circumstances than in just expecting him to do what he's asked in school (and as I said earlier, this sounds like it was in the classroom, not at recess - although that doesn't particularly matter).

And, yes, they made a big point about it being removed from his record. How big of a deal do they really think elementary school records are?
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