My 6-year old walked into the door, dropped his book bag, and jumped up on the kitchen stool.
“Guess what mom?”
“My two friends in my class got suspended today.”
This completely grabbed my attention. Suspended? At 6-years old? And how does my son even know what ‘suspended’ means?
“Because they made the gun motion with their hand at recess.”
I was completely floored – a first grader suspended? For making the gun motion? Luckily my boys never do this, but they are boys. They pretend every day that they are good guys vs. bad guys and will make anything (and I mean anything) into a weapon. However, they do know right from wrong because my husband and I have sat down with them on numerous occasions to talk about what is acceptable behavior and what is not.
“Mom they were crying so bad.”
“Do you understand that you can’t do that?”
“Yes, I know guns kill people. I will never do that.”
I believe, yes, this needs to be brought to the attention of the teachers and principal especially after the horrible shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School, but do we go right to suspension for young children?
What about sending a letter home to the parents asking them to explain to their child why they can’t do this? Or even setting up a meeting with the parents and child?
At this age they are exploring and using their imagination through play and some children do not realize this is wrong.
I do believe that we need to talk to our children at a young age about this issue, but I think going straight to a suspension is wrong. Now I don’t know the full details, I heard this through my son, so I’m not sure what steps were actually taken.
If we were talking about junior high or high school kids, then of course I think they deserve a suspension. They know what’s acceptable and what’s not, but a first grader is still learning and needs guidance.
But what are your thoughts on this subject? Should a first grader get suspended for this? Should there be other steps taken before going straight to a suspension?
I’m linking up with Shell from Things I Can’t Say.