Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Chandler school suspends student for drawing picture of gun

Payne Junior High School in Chandler, Arizona has suspended the 13-year-old son of Ben and Paula Mosteller for three days (reduced from five) for drawing a picture of a gun, an action which they characterized as a threat which they compared to the Columbine High School massacre in a discussion with his parents.

The Arizona Republic reports that "The school did not contact police and did not provide counseling or an evaluate the boy to determine if he intended the drawing as a threat," which suggests to me that they did not really consider it to be a threat.

The boy's parents described the picture as a harmless doodle of a fake laser, which did not show blood, bullets, injuries, or target any human.

If the school really considered it a threat of an impending massacre, they should have treated it as one. Since they didn't, why is it even worth a suspension? Is there more to the context that we aren't being told, or are school administrators so irrational that they fear drawings of guns?

Are there any adult males who didn't draw guns along with cars, motorcycles, spaceships, monsters, aliens, and floor plans of secret hideouts when they were around 13?

1 comment:

AlisonM said...

*sigh* Yet another ridiculous zero-tolerance story. If half as much time were spent watching out for and preventing REAL problems, well, we wouldn't have as many problems. Many years back when I was still living up in Northeast NJ, a first grader in Montclair was suspended for pointing his finger and saying "bang". Everyone felt so much safer once this violent child was removed from the classroom. Not.