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Got a call from my son's school principal today

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by Father Knows Best, Jan 11, 2006.

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  1. Father Knows Best

    Father Knows Best Member

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    My Kindergartner was sent to the principal's office for telling one of his classmates that he (my son) was going to come over to his classmate's house with a gun and shoot his family. When the principal asked him whether he had a gun, my son (somewhat truthfully) responded that he did, and his dad (me) had given it to him. The reality is that I bought him a Chipmunk single shot .22 last summer. I showed it to him once, and told him I would teach him to shoot with it when he showed me he was ready. That meant being responsible, doing well in school, etc. It's been locked up in my gun safe ever since. I explained that to his principal.

    The principal was actually pretty cool about it. She said I didn't need to come get him, and he wouldn't be suspended. She did note that "in today's environment", that kind of threat could result in an automatic suspension from school. She understands that he didn't really intend to hurt anyone, and had responded when the other child threatened to get a rock and "throw it at his head."

    Still, I have to wonder -- where the f#@&! did this come from? My son doesn't get to watch violent movies or TV shows (at six, he's a little too young), and doesn't have any violent video games. He's certainly never heard his mother or I talk like that. While he has toy guns, he knows that he is not allowed to point them at other people (we teach muzzle discipline from a young age in my house....)

    He got the spanking of his life when he got home last night (administered by my wife -- don't mess with her!) We also took away his toy guns, and explained that he wouldn't be coming near a real gun -- even the Chipmunk I bought for him -- until he showed he understood and was ready to handle the responsibility that goes along with firearms. He was genuinely contrite, and swore he would never threaten anyone, again.

    Any thoughts on where this came from, or what else we should do?
     
  2. phoglund

    phoglund Member

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    He probably got it from other kids. I think most adults would be shocked at what little tykes will say sometimes. It sounds to me like you are doing the right things. I would suggest you let the incident rest in his mind for a while (a week perhaps) and then discuss it with him again to let him know it's not one of those things that just pass and are forgotten. I don't suggest reading the riot act again but just a simple discussion of why it was wrong.

    With any luck he's now learned a lesson many kids don't learn until real trouble happens because of a threat.

    Good luck!
     
  3. Tequila_Sauer

    Tequila_Sauer Member

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    I think you're doing the right thing as well. I can imagine it's rough hearing this from your son. Severity is usually a foreign concept for children. The weight of saying or doing something comes with life experience. I'm sure in time, with your instruction, he'll learn what it means to truly be a gun owner. He'll understand the responsbility that comes with such a power, and the greatness of a country that trusts its citizens with that as well. And that even threatening gun violence or, God forbid, having to use one at some point, is very serious and can be a life-changing event.
     
  4. MrTuffPaws

    MrTuffPaws Member

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    Where did he get it? He was born with it. Human nature.
     
  5. ScottsGT

    ScottsGT Member

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    I've got 4 myself. Oldest in 9th grade, youngest in 1st. I too have fears that they will run their mouth like this, and I have warned them of what will happen. Youngest boy got in trouble for just making threats to beat up other kids. But I had it worse than you, the Principal caught me in the hallway during a Cubscout meeting and had the discussion with me. Son knew he was about to get his hind end worn out, but instead, I wore out his ears talking to him about situations like this.
    Good Luck, you have a LONG row to hoe ahead of you :D
     
  6. The-Fly

    The-Fly Member

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    probably from a classmate. Never ever underestimate the ability of peers to influence your child
     
  7. dolanp

    dolanp Member

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    Sounds like you handled it like a good parent would. So many parents these days would go deaf and demand that their child would never do anything bad and just throw a fit.
     
  8. 1%er

    1%er Member

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    a prime example of peer influence !!! Without a doubt he picked it up from somewhere outside the homestead. I cant even begin to tell you the crap they will come home and say to you that came off the playground (i have a kindergardener and 2nd grader myself) , now your aware, The way i handled it was to enforce they can ask me ANYTHING at ANYTIME but just idly running your mouth with playground smack will get my foot in your tail (at best)

    good luck it gets no easier as the big 'ol world opens up to them :what:
     
  9. Pilot

    Pilot Member

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    It is AMAZING what kids will say. Our 10 year old son told his teacher that his dad had a huge gun that has a SWORD that comes out of it. The night before I had brought home a Russian SKS (when they wre just coming into the U.S. in quantity). I guess he happened to be watching when I removed the SKS from the box, checked to see if there was anything in the chamber, then checked the operation of the folding bayonet. Yes, everything was fine, bayonet worked great!

    I went to pick him up from school a few days later and noticed the teacher was looking at my funny.

    Sigh......
     
  10. johnmcl

    johnmcl Member

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    FNB,

    Your son most likely got the message that threats are ok from his friends. He didn't get it from home, and he didn't get it from the media, given his age.

    I think you did the right thing in disciplining him. Teaching a young man that there are consequences for his actions and that there are unacceptable levels of behaviour is spot on. At such a young age there's a plausible argument that he didn't know the acceptable behavior rule book. You showed him page and section number... :)

    My recommendation, and one that I've applied to my own kids, is to make sure on following up. Don't be assured tha a single discipline event is enough to get the message across to him. I'd recommend having man-to-man talks with him every once in a while about his behavior to re-enforce the message.

    Do follow the rule though that you don't criticize him as a person, but do criticize his actions. "You are a terrible kid" versus "That threat was a terrible thing." is considerably healthier and more constructive.

    I hope this helps, and best of luck.

    John
     
  11. dracphelan

    dracphelan Member

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    As others have responded, probably another kid. Though, be glad your kid has a good principal. I've heard to many stories of kids getting suspended for less due to zero tolerance policies.
     
  12. Highland Ranger

    Highland Ranger Member

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    I'll go the other way on you . . .

    I am growing to resent this thought police crap and our public schools are full of it. I have five kids, and it takes much of our time to make sure they aren't growing up to be little blissininnies.

    The public school system today teaches reliance on the Government for the solution to all our problems. Not personal accountability and independence.

    This "thing" now where we are taking five year olds to task for making "terroristic threats" and all that bullying nonsense is ridiculous.

    Think of some of the stuff you said as a teenager let alone as a five year old.

    He's FIVE for God's sake!

    As for how I would handle it, don't overreact . . . . don't worry about blaming someone. Just correct the behavior. ANd try to do it in a way that doesn't crush your boy's spirit.

    We have enough mindless robots out there as is . . .
     
  13. DontBurnMyFlag

    DontBurnMyFlag Member

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    people blame fictional TV and movies for everything. half the time the majority of violence viewed by children comes from the daily news or newspaper. they dont have to watch it or read it, just be in the same room, or glance at the paper when they walk by. but i wouldnt worry about it. my friends and I at that age used to play army and shoot everyone and then assassinate our families as if they were badguys etc. we turned out fine. at 6 we knew we would never hurt anyone and that it was just play, regardless of who our toy guns killed.
     
  14. V4Vendetta

    V4Vendetta member

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    "Kids say the darndest things." Your lucky the principal didn't want to press charges. I don't know where it came from but you could've been in DEEP. I'd ask him what happened to make him say such a thing. Then take it from there. I still wouldn't let him near the .22 for a good while.
     
  15. Father Knows Best

    Father Knows Best Member

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    Highland Ranger, I know that boys will be boys. I don't generally get involved in my son's playground disputes. When we're home and he or a playmate comes running in to tell daddy about something the other kid said or did, I cut him off and tell him to work it out.

    I think this incident is a little different, though. Threatening to get a gun and shoot a classmate's family? That's a little different from the "my dad is gonna beat up your dad" type of threats I remember hearing on the playground.

    All in all, good advice here, especially the comments about coming back to the lesson on several occasions. I'll be sure to do that.
     
  16. ka50

    ka50 Member

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    If you're a kid and few other kids are about to throw a rock at your head, what would you say to make sure they change their mind? Invite them for cookies and tea?

    Rock is a deadly weapon. If someone is about to toss a rock at you, and you're carrying, what is your course of action?

    Something to think about.
     
  17. Father Knows Best

    Father Knows Best Member

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    Call me a blissninny if you must, but I don't think there is ever any justification for threatening to come over to someone's house and shoot their family members.

    My daddy taught me a couple of things:

    1. Never make a threat you aren't prepared to follow through on.

    2. Try to avoid fights. If it looks like you can't avoid it, then shut up and fight. Hit 'em hard and fast and without warning. With luck, they'll be so stunned that they won't even fight back. There's no sense tellin' 'em you're about to belt them, though. As Tuco famously said in The Good, The Bad and The Ugly, "When you have to shoot.... shoot, don't talk."
     
  18. springmom

    springmom Member

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    agreed

    And thank God your son has an intelligent principal who handled it well. I remember sitting with an elementary school principal once (this was back in my school psychologist days) and telling her that the little cap guns you can buy on the end of a key chain do NOT constitutue a weapons violation requiring mandatory expulsion. I am not making this up. You have a good principal.

    He probably hears the other boys talk about things this way. If such a thing has never crossed your lips, you never have any movies or TV shows like that around him, you STILL cannot protect him from those image unless you are willing to homeschool and be extraordinarily picky in screening who he talks to and what he does.

    Welcome to parenthood in the 21st century. :banghead:

    Springmom
     
  19. Sindawe

    Sindawe Member

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    Spot on.

    Kindergarten (late 60s), my neighbor (kid my age) threatened to come over and stab my family to death with a knife. I replied I'd burn his hose down with everyone in it. Kid across the street said he'd bring the gasoline and matches.

    No peer influence (we were ALL peers to each other), we thunk this villainy up on our own (no TVs in the houses yet since all the familys were working poor).

    Kids say dumb things, its up the the parents to indoctrinate their kids into correct behavior. Sounds to me like you're a Parent and not just a Breeder Father Knows Best. :)
     
  20. 280PLUS

    280PLUS Member

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    Brings back fond memories of my precious little innocent 5 yo after his very first day of Kindergarten. He said, "Hey Dad." And proceeded to flip me the bird. I was like, "Uhhhh, I don't think you're supposed to be doing that." :rolleyes:

    LOL...

    I hope your little feller's keester has cooled off a bit by now...

    :D
     
  21. Jubei

    Jubei Member

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    One thing that I've noticed, is that kids are like sponges, they will soak up just about everything and spout it back later. I don't have any kids of my own (that's a good thing 'cause I'm the shallow end of my families gene pool), but I am extra-cautious when I'm around children, especially my sisters. The last thing that my family needs is more anti-social, sociopathic, short-tempered trogladytes (my ex-girlfriends description of me:D ) in the family.

    I wouldn't start worrying too much until he starts "accessorizing" Barbie.

    Jubei
     
  22. 1911JMB

    1911JMB Member

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    You may be familiar with Colonel Dave Grossman and his study called "killology". Among many other things, Dave teaches us that violent TV shows and video games, when administered to young children, breed school shooters, and murderers in general. The thing is, such things make shooting at a people a natural reaction, especially with children 7 and under who can't really split the difference between fantasy and reality. You appear to have done a good job of keeping him away from such destructive activities.

    www.killology.com/
     
  23. Stiletto Null

    Stiletto Null Member

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    And when they're older, it's just good fun. :)

    Man, I remember getting my ass kicked all the time in Goldeneye, playing against my friend's little bro (I think he was 10 and I was 14 at the time)...good times.
     
  24. rbernie
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    rbernie Member

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    As has been pointed out, you were lucky that your kids' principal is not as knee-jerk as they sometimes can (and are allowed to) behave. This could easily have escalated into suspension or worse. I have small children, and this sort of incident has been one of my biggest concerns with them. Well, that and their telling all their little friends that I house the 'Arsenal of Democracy' <TM> in my house such that their friends' blissninny parents won't let their kids associate with my kids. :eek:

    So far, my kids have refrained from making up silly stories about shooting things the way that they make up silly stories about all sorts of other things. I believe that exposing my kids to my hunting hobby has been a HUGE help in ensuring that they understand exactly what a firearm does and exactly how deadly serious they are. I have also avoided letting them claim any emotional ownership of any firearms - like cars and other complex objects, the firearms belong to the parents and can be accessed and/or touched only with the express immediate consent of one of the parents. By keeping the firearms as something that they cannot internalize or visualize as their own in any way, I believe that I've helped steer them clear of imagining and/or saying things that can get them into trouble in today's world.

    When they get emotionally old enough to handle it, I'll offer each of them the opportunity to shoot. Heck, I have three 22LR bolties set aside for just that purpose. :D But until they've been shooting for a while and have shown the maturity to handle the concepts of ownership, they'll be shooting 'Daddy's rifles'. I believe that attitude tends to put a spin on things that may prove useful....

    Just a thought.

    PS - This may have been a great lesson for him to have had. I really expect that he'll not make THAT mistake again....
     
  25. Rockrivr1

    Rockrivr1 Member

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    I'll also say he probably picked it up from classmates / friends etc. Like posted above kids are sponges and when the need arises they come out with all kinds of interesting stuff.

    As an example my Brother in Law has a 4 or 5 year old that is in pre-school now. One rainy day my wife and I are at his house having a conversation with him and his wife. His son comes from downstairs with his coat on and some toys and asks if he can go outside and play. My Brother in Law says no because its raining outside. The kid walks up to the window, looks outside and in the most innocent voice I've ever heard say "F#$king rain!" OMG-I thought I was going to need CPR. It caught me so off guard that I burst out laughing. Dad and Mom were not happy at all and I thought my Brother in Law was going to burst because his eyes were bugging out of his head. They never talk like that, so obviously he got it from someone else.

    Its also refreshing to hear that you and your wife delt out proper punishment. I thought my brother in law was going to give him a spanking as well, but I was told that they do not hit their kids. Instead they sent him to his room for a time out. :what: Time out??? Are you friggin kidding me. His room has more toys in it the Toys R Us! What kinda punishment is that.

    On the way home my wife and I got into it because I said I would of spanked him if it was my kid. I find out now she not sure she believes in that type of punishment. Well she better get used to it, because that's going to be the way it is. I remember getting spanked by my Dad and just the threat of it kept me in lines most times.

    Don't worry. This incident has nothing to do with you per say. It's just kids growing up and being kids. I also agree it's good that the principle was down to earth. Sometimes they can get all worked up over nothing.
     
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