4th Grader Suspended For Properly Completing Assignment With A Nerf Gun

from the right-on-target dept

Given the stories we've covered in the past in which schools and their administrators massively overreact in the name of children's safety, I suppose these stories really shouldn't surprise me as much as they do. I mean, given that we've seen administrators lose their minds over pop tarts, fingers, and even drawings, should I really be shocked that a fourth grader was suspended from his Georgia elementary school for bringing in a nerf gun? No, probably not, but a lack of surprise doesn't mean I can't get angry that a kid that properly completed his damned assignment was suspended for it.

So why did young Ramsey McDonald bring the nerf gun, which shoots terrifying soft little foam balls out of it, to class? Because he was told to, that's why.

After a couple of days into the school year, fourth grader Ramsey McDonald of Warner Robins was given what he thought was a fun assignment. Bring in some of your favorite toys to talk about.

"They were trying to get the kids to know each other," his father, Scott McDonald said.
Well, bang up job, Warner Robbins Elementary, because Ramsey dutifully completed that assignment, but it's going to be pretty hard for his classmates to get to know him now that he's serving a 3 day in-school suspension. For bringing in a toy, mind you, that is rated for six-year-olds and up, since it is about as harmful as a really tiny pillow covered in a newborn puppy's love. It's a toy. He was told to bring in a toy. Hell, it could have even served as a simple teaching moment for Ramsey about thinking of the larger context of things before making a decision. Instead, all he's learned is that bureaucracy breeds this kind of overprotective nonsense. Well, that plus he learned that he has more common sense than the adults at his school.
"He told me he didn't know they would think it was a weapon or he wouldn't have brought it to school," McDonald said.
Well, of course not, because it's not a freaking weapon, it's a toy, which is exactly what he was asked to bring in. Sitting this kid outside of his class on suspension for three days for properly completing his assignment is crazy-pants.


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  1. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
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    Whatever (profile), 9 Aug 2014 @ 1:55am

    Re: Re:

    1. If the kid was brought up to be a shooter, it's quite possible that the 9mm would be his favorite "toy". As per your point 4, would the teacher have been inviting this?

    2. There is a difference between a toy gun and a real gun, but the schools do not want the kids growing up with a gun culture, so even toy guns / projectile firing devices / weapon like items are banned. The difference between them isn't relevant for a straight forward rule like that.

    3. What part of gun isn't in the term "nerf gun"? School says no toy guns or weapons, so it's pretty simple.

    4. Are you suggesting that the teacher needs to have one of those "disclaimer" routines like you hear on radio commercials for contests? Do you think the students (and parents) are so dumb that they cannot be asked to bring a favorite toy to school without considering the rules that apply every day? Do you think American parents must be spoon fed every step of the way?

    The rule isn't hard to understand, unless you are working real hard to be ignorant. The teachers request doesn't mean the students can just chuck the rules out the window for the day.

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