A 10-year-old in OH got a 3-day suspension for making his fingers into the shape of a gun. Seriously.
According to his father, Paul Entingh, one moment the boy was “goofing off” with his friends in fifth grade science class, and the next the teacher was taking him out of the classroom invoking Ohio’s zero-tolerance policy.
The offense? Nathan was “making his fingers look like a gun, having the thumb up and the pointed finger sticking out,” said Entingh, describing the February 26 incident.
“He was pointing it at a friend’s head and he said ‘boom.’ The kid didn’t see it. No other kids saw it. But the teacher saw it,” he said. “It wasn’t threatening. It wasn’t hostile. It was a 10-year-old kid playing.”
The next morning Paul Entingh escorted his son Nathan to the principal’s office, where they met with Devonshire Alternative Elementary School Principal Patricia Price.
“She said if it happened again the suspension would be longer, if not permanent,” said Entingh, who also received a letter explaining the reason for Nathan’s suspension as a “level 2 look alike firearm.”
This may be the dumbest zero tolerance case in the last decade. This is what the Columbus City Schools “Guide to Positive Student Behavior” has to say about “firearm look-alikes”:
A firearm look-a-like is any item that resembles a firearm but does not have the explosive
characteristics of a firearm but may use a spring loaded devise or air pressure by which to propel an
object or substance (i.e., toy guns, cap guns, bb guns, pellet guns, air guns and paint ball guns). A
student shall not possess, handle, or transmit any firearm look-a-like, the use of which is unrelated to
the educational process. Included in this prohibition are those students who assist, are present, or in
any way participate in the violation of this rule.
I’m pretty sure a finger and a thumb doesn’t fit the legal definition.