Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Mid-Del 7-year-old Suspended Over 'Finger Gun'

By Jerry Bohnen/NewsRadio 1000 KTOK ~ A 7-year old student at the Mid-Del School District's Parkview Elementary School was suspended last week from school for pointing a "finger gun" at a wall.

Lydia Riley, the mother of the boy, couldn't believe when the principal of the school called her and said her son received a one-day in-school suspension.

She was told her son made a gun with his fingers.

"I of course, let him know it was absolutely ridiculous," said Riley after getting the phone call, "that a 7-year old would get in trouble for a thing like that."

She said her son had been warned previously about it and like all students in the school had been told at the beginning of the year about not doing it.

"But I don't think a 7-year old has that kind of cognitive ability to be able to decipher what play is appropriate in play situations."

Riley was angered by the actions: "To young elementary school children, play is play. They're not gonna be able to remember that they can play this way here, but not there."

After getting the phone call, she went to the school and took her son home because he was receiving no classroom instruction. She let him play at home with his GI Joe and Nerf guns.

"He just couldn't figure out why he got in trouble," said Riley of her son. "He knows that he's in a little bit of trouble for breaking the school rules, but he just doesn't understand---he's a little confused about it all."

Then there's the timing. His suspension came days after the shooting and wounding of the congresswoman in Arizona.

"It did happen after it and I made the same remark to my fiance--that the timing is unfortunate and people are going to be so hypersensitive on issues like this."

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