10-year-old Boy Suspended from School for Pointing his Finger like a Gun
With all the fear associated around youth violence, a school in Ohio has implemented a “zero” tolerance policy, and suspended ten-year-old Nathan Entingh for making his fingers into the shape of a gun and pointing it at a fellow student.
In reference to the story from CNN – 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.
“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.”
After being notified of the situation, Nathan and his father 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.”
The letter, which Entingh shared with CNN, read, “Nathan put his fingers up to another student’s head, simulating a gun, and said, ‘BOOM,’ ”
Price’s office referred CNN’s call to Columbus City Schools spokesman Jeff Warner.
Price “has been warning the students for some weeks,” said Warner. “We’ve had a problem at this school. The boys have gone around fake shooting and making paper guns at class. It’s inappropriate. She has sent notes to parents for the past three weeks alerting them of the problem.”
Entingh said he never received a notice, but was aware of school authorities telling students, including Nathan, that any gun-related behaviour would have serious consequences.
“I don’t know if it’s to the point it happened so much they needed to punish somebody to set an example. I don’t know, it blows my mind,” said Entingh.
Warner acknowledged there was likely no ill-intention in Nathan’s actions.
“I know he (Nathan) felt it was funny and in jest, but the teacher felt it was inappropriate given the warnings that were given.”
Warner said Nathan wasn’t singled out as an example, but that his was the first incident after Price gave “her final notice last week.”