Dangerous GI Joe Toys Guns Plaguing Washington Schools !!!!!!!!


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Steel
January 30, 2004, 10:02 AM
from another web site...


guns get boys suspended
Parent questions response to school incident

Sara Leaming
Staff writer

Terry Wilson-Spence thinks administrators at Spokane Public Schools may have jumped the gun when it comes to her 8-year-old son.

The third-grader, along with two other boys, was suspended Friday from Bemiss Elementary School for bringing toy guns to the northeast Spokane school.

But, according to Wilson-Spence, the toy guns her son carried in his pocket were for GI Joe action figures. The guns are from only 1 inch to 3 inches long -- half the size of a pencil.

"I don't think any child would look at it and be threatened," Wilson-Spence said.

But the school district is standing by its zero-tolerance policy on weapons, which doesn't specify size or type, school officials said.

"We've been very clear with our students and parents that you don't bring anything that resembles a gun to school," said Bemiss Principal Lorna Spear.

"At school you don't need anything that's going to make kids feel unsafe."

The incident started when Wilson-Spence's son, John Spence, put three plastic toy guns in his pocket as he was leaving for school Friday.

"He was getting ready to go to an overnight birthday party," and was packing belongings Friday morning, his mother said.

"Apparently when he got to school one of the guns was sticking out," Wilson-Spence said.

Spear said another child reported to school officials that John Spence had the guns.

During lunch, Spence and two other boys, who also allegedly had miniature toy guns, took them out and were playing with them at their lunch table, Wilson-Spence said. The other boys were not identified.

What followed, Wilson-Spence said, was an overreaction.

"Our children are in control of sharpened pencils every day, and that seems to me more of a threat than those toys," she said.

But school officials don't think so.

Spear said the three boys were making threatening actions while playing with the toys. That made other students feel unsafe, she said.

Under a list of prohibited acts in the Student Rights and Responsibilities policy guide for the school district, a threat is considered "any statement, written or spoken, or action which creates a reasonable fear of bodily harm."

Wilson-Spence admitted that one of the boys pointed the toys at other students. She said her son did not.

"I think that we need to be clear about what constitutes a threat, and what is plain and simply a toy," Wilson-Spence said. "We're talking about Barbie and Ken here."

Spear, who was gone when the incident occurred Friday, said she plans to meet with Wilson-Spence and the parents of the other two boys today, to determine the appropriate course of action.

The boys were told Friday they would be suspended until Spear returned, today. There was no school Monday for semester break.

Spear said the punishment will depend on the circumstances surrounding the incident.

"Even these boys said they knew they weren't suppose to bring these to school," she said.

If they had given the miniature guns to a teacher, nothing would have come of it, she said.

This week is assessment testing at the school. Wilson-Spence said she worries her son is missing valuable class time.

She is also worried that what was intended as innocent play will follow her son through his school career and beyond.

"He's just too young to have something like that on his record," she said. "The paperwork just said that he brought toy guns to school, and that could mean anything."

"I think it needs to be very clear that he wasn't responding or acting as some sort of criminal," she said.

This is not the first time miniature weaponry has gotten a Washington student in trouble.

The Seattle School District suspended a 10-year-old boy in 1997 for bringing a replica of an Army-issue handgun to school. That inch-long plastic gun also belonged to G.I. Joe, an action figure that's been a favorite of boys since 1964.

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stephen_g22
January 30, 2004, 10:19 AM
I hope either school districts remove their heads from their behinds soon or I can home school my son when the time comes.

cameroneod
January 30, 2004, 10:50 AM
Iv decided never to send my kids to a public school. Pretty easy decision actually.

twoblink
January 30, 2004, 11:21 AM
It's all about perspective..

Just remember, the people who run the public schools are the same group of people who run the post office, and the DMV.

When put into proper perspective, no big surprises here...

foghornl
January 30, 2004, 11:43 AM
Twoblink:

You are so much closer to the truth about employee IQ level than most of us would really like to admit....especially the DMV.

I honestly don't know how some of them have enough IQ to even draw breath............

SteveS
January 30, 2004, 01:00 PM
Actually, most public schools are run at the local level. School boards have a great deal of control over hiring an policy. There are plenty of school around where I live that would never suspend a kid for this type of behavior.

El Rojo
January 30, 2004, 01:53 PM
I remember our kindergarten class having the good old GI Joe action figures and plenty of their rifles with them. It never seemed to be an issue then. Why is it an issue now? I like the pencil comment. They are much more dangerous than these inch and a half long GI Joe guns.

Partisan Ranger
January 30, 2004, 03:15 PM
....and the general wussification of America continues unabated. :rolleyes:

StuporDave
January 31, 2004, 01:28 AM
I honestly don't know how some of them have enough IQ to even draw breath............

They're not stupid and they know exactly what they're doing. Teaching kids at an early age "don't worry, a government agency will take care of everything".

TarpleyG
January 31, 2004, 08:30 AM
Another example of how effective zero-tolerance really is. Zero-tolerance allows the school district to staff the schools with mindless robots. God forbid someone actually use some common sense.

GT

TheOtherOne
January 31, 2004, 08:51 AM
But the school district is standing by its zero-tolerance policy on weapons, which doesn't specify size or type, school officials said.Call the authorities and have them slapped with a felony at the very least. Is the death penalty an option for kids in Washington? With such horrendous activities going on like children playing with 1 inch plastic "guns" at the school lunch table, I think that lawmakers need to at least consider it as a viable and appropriate punishment. There can be no tolerance for such despicable acts.

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