Wednesday, February 06, 2013

Your Turn

A second grader has been suspended from school after he threw an IMAGINARY grenade during recess to save the world from bad guys. Yes, now you are only allowed to sit quietly in the sand box and pretend you are an organic farmer. If you use imaginary pesticides they will probably suspend you for that too. You can see where I am on this suspension. What about you?

82 comments:

Where's Shelly? said...

Absolutely utterly completely ridiculous

Frufra said...

I've said it before, and I'll say it again - the teacher or recess monitor was way too far up in the kids' business if s/he knows the content of every imaginary game being played on the playground. Back off and let the kids play! Of course, I don't know the specifics of this particular case - I've only read the headlines. There may be more to it, but if there isn't, I think it's silly.

Lisa said...

I wonder how long before my grandson gets suspended when he starts kindergarten in the fall...

Darkmyst said...

The suspension is patently retarded. I don't think any 7 y.o. is capable of understanding any absolute of this nature.

KPeony said...

I feel so bad for kids today

LizzardO said...

If that was the only behavior incident his boy had, then this is silly.

VIPblonde said...

So, here's a more complete write-up: Grenade Suspension

The school has a policy against "any weapons, real or pretend."

Um, I'm pretty sure "pretend weapons" is supposed to mean bringing a toy gun to school, not throwing air

rejectedcarebear said...

They suspended a first grader in PA for pretending to shoot a classmate with a Hello Kitty bubble gun. I get the zero tolerance policy but c'mon now. These are kids, with fake or imaginary toys. Let them be.

Gayeld said...

Oh geez, really? My God, I hope they never find out that my three-year old daughter kills zombies with her big brothers in her spare time. That would probably be a hanging offense that school.

mikey said...

Common sense is a thing of the past. I can remember my boys making play guns from legos.

MadLyb said...
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SusanB said...

Schools have become politically correct to the point of idiocy. What parents actually support this crap? Why aren't parents in general complaining to their respective school boards?

Snapdragon said...

Ridiculous.

Honeykatt said...

Maybe this child has military family and thinks of soldiers as heros, and now what message are we sending to him by punishing his act of imitation? I swear, reading these stories, all you can do is shake your head and wonder how we got to this point.

Tuxedo Cat said...

Not surprised at all, and yes, really stupid. Your imagination isn't even your own these days.

FSP said...

This is complete horse poop.

Jason Blue Eyes said...

THIS is nuts.

Darkmyst said...

Does crap like this happen in other countries or is that particular brand of stupid unique to the US?

ReesesPeace said...

My imagination was a constant companion...hell, it still is!...and this just makes me so sad.

MadLyb said...

I agree, this sh*t is getting ridiculous. Can't people use common sense and judgement on a case by case basis with something like this? Zero tolerance seems to be yet another excuse not to have to think.

I remember growing up and running amok outside playing Cowboys and Indians (which is not cool today), climbing trees, and even survived playing with the Mr. Potato Head with the tiny pieces - you know, the fun and creative one. I don't see kids playing outside anymore. They're inside on the computers or playing X-Box or watching tv. My mom wouldn't let us stay inside if it was nice out, and forget sitting in front of the tv for hours. Even when it was raining, the neighborhood kids would go outside into one of our parents cars and tell ghost stories.

Frufra said...

@SusanB - the parent SHOULD raise a fuss to the school board. That being said, if your child's school doesn't meet your standard, and you have the means, get them into a school that does! Childhood is a one-time only trip, and your kids deserve the best education you can find for them.

As a society, we need to raise holy hell, so that all of our children get the education that they deserve.

Brandy said...

Makes me consider homeschool.

Pogue Mahone said...

I am SO glad we homeschool our kids!

yvettie said...

I had a couple toy guns when I was young. They were just for fun. I ended up perfectly fine and I'm sure these kids will too.

LottaColada said...

THIS they suspend a kid over but school bullying they turn a blind eye to. Unbelievable.

yodelay said...

A policy against PRETEND weapons!?!?!?!? Disgusting.

Talk about the Thought Police.

EmEyeKay said...

How about going after the kid who consistently slams other kids in a face with a dodgeball? That gets my vote.

Pretend grenade *snorts*

prolixe said...
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Patty said...

How do we know this imaginary grenade was lethal? Did he go "Ba-Boom" after he threw it? Was there an imaginary casulity count? What if it was a love grenade and gave everyone happiness, rainbows and unicorns? What if was a grenade that cured all diseases? What a waste of resources. Meanwhile in other news, real criminals were committing crimes on real kids.

Sherry said...

Seriously? So it's not bad enough that we stifle their imagination sooner or later, we're making them feel bad for pretending? This is beyond ridiculous. Little kids have fertile imaginations and play is part of growing up. All animals do it. Let's make sure we stunt them as soon as possible. Gawd I'm glad I don't have kids!

MissInfo said...

Complete and utter bullshit!! So are these kids expected to sit there like little lumps and not move?! Some kids are more expressive and imaginative than others. One thing is throwing an imaginary hand grenade and another is bringing a real-life gun or knife to school. These kids are getting the weapons from the confinement of their homes and the parents are to blame for allowing easy access. Who could he possibly hurt with a non-existent grenade? Lighten up people!! UGH!

EmEyeKay said...

@Prolixe, I don't envy your sitch. I internally roll my eyes at PTA meetings too often. People go overboard.

Also, The Short One has a Minecraft after-school class! He loves it, and I enjoy seeing the "houses" he creates. He made me an art studio with a gallery on top "so you don't have to walk far, Mom".

Robin the Mad Photographer said...

Yes, I can believe it. Yes, it's completely ridiculous overly-PC bullshit, especially when so many school still ignore or, worse, tacitly condone bullying. My guess is that part of the reason for this is fear of litigation--school districts are utterly paranoid of being sued for any reason, so they think nonsensical "zero tolerance" rules will keep them safe; if, God forbid, something does happen, they can point and say "See? We have a zero-tolerance policy! Not our fault!" The irony, of course, is that they open themselves to a totally different kind of litigation by parents righteously pissed-off on their kids' behalf, not to mention the ridicule of sensible people everywhere.

What people need to realize, and no one wants to in this country, is that there are no guarantees in life--you can do everything right, obey every rule and policy, and follow every cultural norm, but none of it means that you'll definitely get the job of your dreams, or the partner you think you deserve, or that your kids will be forever protected from whatever boogeymen are out there, because shit happens, and that's just the way life is. Look at Sandy Hook--they did everything they reasonably could, but there's only so much anyone can do when there's a psycho w/a gun blasting a hole in the door to let himself in and shoot up the joint. Sure, we could build all our school in underground bunkers, but what kind of childhood would that be?

One of my oldest friends has taught school for many years, mainly middle and high school, and she's been an absolutely wonderful teacher, willing to go the extra mile for kids who need it, and not just in school, either; she's also lost a few students over the years, or knows of other kids who didn't survive their teens, and she's come to the sad conclusion that "you can't save all of them," because, again, shit happens. All you can do is to do your damndest to be there for them, and give them as much support as possible, and then pray that everything works out in the end.

Frufra said...

@prolixe - you are totally right, of course - this crap does come down from "on high", and woe be to the underpaid teacher or aide who drops the ball. Experience has told me that leadership (aka the principal) in an elementary school is huge. And they, too, can be under the thumb of their bosses.

Syko said...

I am grateful every day that I grew up in a time when kids played imaginative games outside. We were cowboys and Indians, we "shot" each other and "died" flamboyantly, and then we got up and did it again. We ran and climbed trees and built forts and had snowball fights.

How long before playing with dolls becomes sexualized (because you know how you get babies!) and is also forbidden?

We are doing a colossally good job of ruining the world.

Amber said...

So the choice now is to home school and find play/social groups for your kids in order to avoid this kind of stupidity?

prolixe said...

I had to delete the comment, I like hot water only in the shower. :b

That's so cute about your little guy!

VIPblonde said...

To me, a pretend grenade is like one of those plastic toy ones. He didn't even throw a pretend grenade. The kid got suspended for THROWING AIR.

What happens when someone farts at that school? Suspension for dissemination of toxic gas?

MBK said...

Something tells me there's more to this story and that we're only hearing the parents' side.

Cathy said...

TO me, I think the context of it is important. The fact that he thew the imaginary grenade while trying to "save the world" is a totally normally game. If he were playing with an imaginary gun and pretending to shoot his innocent classmates, I might take a little more issue with that.

I also think that fantasizing about gun play is more dangerous than fantasizing about grenades, since a kid is far more likely to get their hands on an actual gun than a real grenade.

Mama Ray said...

Reminds me of a conversation with my husband last week... 3 yr old son chased & 'shot' his sisters with an invisible pretend gun. (I was traumatized in the 90's by an HBO gun special and have a strict no guns policy at home, real or toy.) I told him "No fake shooting your sisters Dude" and my husband told me that while he supports my no gun stance, he does not think it's okay for me to tell son how or what he can pretend. Guess I was getting too carried away...

Seamus O'Pine said...

Too bad the 2nd amendment doesn't cover a "well-imagined militia."

Wish we would spend as much time focusing on that ACTUAL problems of violence in our society instead of the make believe ones.

IMakeNoSense said...

When I was in 7th grade we had those lockers that only 5 feet ish so chest high. Of course I was talking and not paying attention went to close locker grabbed the girl next to me boob right in front of principle and got sexual harassment.

This has nothing to do with anything but schools suck.

Frufra said...

totally understand, prolixe. There are some awesome elementary schools out there - take heart. I've found one, and I'm hanging on for dear life - it's everything I've ever dreamed that early childhood education could be!

JSierra said...

It sounds like someone was watching for exactly this, the teacher must really have it out for the kid. I can see where there is concern, but it's all about context and the situation.

lc said...

Call the Imagination Police! Where are the Air Throwing Patrol?
Bringing realistic toy guns to school is one thing, but as VIPBlonde is pointing out, the kid threw AIR!
Air.

msgirl said...

I'm so sad for kids today. Thank god my son is now 17, when he was in elementary all his drawings were battles with guns (Star Wars style), aiming bananas at people, etc. Also I want to note I allowed toy guns but his best friends' parents did not so of course I hid them if they came over, and they were far more obsessed with guns than he ever was. This country is getting insane, but still it's easy to buy real assault guns.

MISCH said...

We are getting crazier and crazier...

Michelle said...

Yesterday, my first-grader told me about a friend of his who brought a tiny water-gun to school and put it in his desk. (You know the kind - those cheap, little plastic ones that always seem to leak everywhere!) After hearing about yet another young child getting suspended in the D.C. area for toy-gun nonsense yesterday, I told my son to just quietly tell his friend to take the water-gun home today. I've also had to lecture my son not to say "bang" or even use the word "gun" at school because they're so over-reactive around here.

I hate stupid people.

E Gee Be said...

I promise you will never be able to stop kids from pretending what they want to pretend. They will turn Legos, tinker toys and Lincoln logs into guns if that is how they want to play. Take away all of those things and they will take the right bites out of a sandwich and turn that into a gun. I agree tat it is the principal that sets the tone for the school. Find one that you respect and admire, if they have a sense of humor then even better. Always be an advocate for your child.

dragon said...

What if I imagine Penises?

__-__=__ said...

Shouldn't that principal be fired? How does (s)he still have a job? How do those parents let that person run the school?? This is exactly what that parent was talking about in the congressional hearing yesterday. Stop the crazies - and it's not the kid throwing air!

Mama Ray said...

FWIW, My dad is a hunter and had guns around my whole life, I am not anti gun, just anti gun in home with children. Sadly I didn't even realize how excessive I was being until my hubby called me on it. Not kidding about the HBO movie (5 American guns, 5 American kids or something similar.). I watched it the same week as HBO's HIV special and the band played on. My roomate told me if she came home one more day that week and found me crying watching HBO again that she was gonna cancel it! (I was only 19 at the time!)

Amber said...

@Mama Ray - if it makes you feel better, when AIDS became a "thing" in the 80s, my mom was convinced my newborn brother had AIDS. Nevermind the fact she did not have AIDS.

Mama Ray said...

I just remember we had just got our 1st apartment and it was the 1st time I had HBO. So many deep documentaries all in the same week! Am I the only one who watched those? I just remember crying thru the entire program thinking I will never allow guns in my house if I ever have kids... Then my roommate put me on HBO restrictions for being too much of a downer and we returned to our normal partying 24/7. Ah, to be 19 again! ;)
(Kidding of course, I'm pretty happy with 36!)

NoraRose said...

Soon you won't be able to Fart without getting suspended or sued. I'm glad the kid was playing outside and not on his butt playing video games

HudsonJoe said...
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Lynette said...

Ridiculous. Kinda like the mom here in Toronto who tried to make the local school remove beautiful oak trees because IF their acorns dropped, and IF her son picked one up and ate it, he would die from his nut allergy. (Guess she'd never heard of an Epipen). She was basically harassed out of her mind by the public when she went to the press. Maybe teach your kid NOT TO EAT THE ACORNS. Sheesh.

HudsonJoe said...

Zero tolerance policies like this are just a shield to hide the administrators and teachers: incompetence; sloth; and cowardice. Imposition of a rule like this should be prime-face evidence for their removal from office and permanent revocation of their teaching and school supervision licenses.

Policies like this one show the complete and absolute failure of the teachers colleges and the education departments in colleges and universities to recruit, educate, and send into the field competent teachers and school principals.

Lelaina Pierce said...

"Pretend to be an organic farmer'" :-) ha!

@Robin TMP - Very well said.

Of course, it's ridiculous. At least he was trying to play "save the world" and not "let's blow up these m f-ers."

All about Eve said...

Come on guys! If you throw an imaginary grenade then someone else will throw another imaginary grenade and next thing you know we have an imaginary war!! Completely ridiculous!

Elle Kaye said...

This would go in the pussification of America files that George Carlin talked about. It's embarrassing.

prolixe said...

Of course it's the fault of all of the nation's teachers. They're the ones who dictate *state and district policy* on such matters, because they're incompetent, cowardly sloths who need permanent revocation of their teaching licenses.

You want to gripe about a stupid policy? Don't bother talking to the teacher - they have zero power over policy. Talk to the principal? A little more, but not really. Go higher - school board, district superintendent, state superintendent (and many don't even have in-class experience). THEY are the ones who create the policies, and teachers and playground duties have to enforce them, no matter how ridiculous the policy. And if they don't - the parents can sue.

Oh, and have a chat with some of the parents in your community - the school board is usually all parents, and they help craft the policies. If someone is griping about an acorn (like @Lynette mentioned), it's because a parent complained and/or threatened to sue.

/rant off

Mango said...

Kinda like the mom here in Toronto who tried to make the local school remove beautiful oak trees because IF their acorns dropped, and IF her son picked one up and ate it, he would die from his nut allergy.

This is mind boggling.

mikey said...

Lynette, I totally agree with you. I was horribly allergic to milk and eggs as a child. I knew, even in preschool, not to eat the birthday cupcakes. Children can be accountable for what they put in their mouths by the time they go to school.

Lynette said...

The mom then accused other parents and people who spoke out against her of "bullying her like they did her son". At some point lady, you can't protect them any more. She truly didn't think she was off base asking for the trees to be removed. Frankly, I was surprised so many people spoke up, with all the political correctness nowadays.....

Erik said...

Beyond stupid. Common sense isn't so common anymore.

Lioness70 said...

People are nucking futs. Enough with the imaginary problems. Worry about why our system spits out kids who can barely pass basic math instead of imaginary grenades.

Lelaina Pierce said...

@elle Kay - My husband quotes that from GC all the time and would agree.

@prolixe - Thank you! I hate seeing people bash teachers.

Mhdz said...

I've always thought firm zero-tolerance policies go overboard.

Nellie said...

My little sister had a soy allergy. I remember her at three handing me a box and lisping "does it have soy?"

Fluffy White Clouds said...

Absurd.

Alma said...

Right on Sherry! It feels very wrong to stop a child from using their imagination. That to me is sort of a book burning mentality.

witwritergirl said...

It's pretend. It's what kids are supposed to do. Can the school system do anymore to banish imagination? Some folks need to lighten the hell up.

Crystal Liechty said...

This kinda stuff makes me feel so hopeless for my poor kids. But then seeing the comments here -- it seems 100% of us agree this is a dumb reason for suspension -- gives me hope again.

mygeorgie said...

"Imaginary grenades don't kill people, people kill people"

For a country that rants about being the 'freeist' nation, they sure are a paranoid, imprisoned bunch.

JSierra said...

Hudson Joe you need to learn a little more about the education system in the US before you make defamatory statements against teachers.

mad cat said...

I cannot believe this, kids run around playing all sorts of tjings real and imagined. What gets me is that we hear so much about playing outside and kids not wanting to pretend anymore, this poor child does just this and gets suspended for it! I hope that the parents do not let this lie and they go after the school. He was Saving the world from bad guys after all, what if this kid is our next super hero and now he has been punished.

Andrea Jurkovitz said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Grand Odalisque said...

^^ This!

We have a rule at our house: use your imagination all you want (we love to watch them pretend!) but put it to good use. So play suoerheroes and kill bad guys, shoot robots, blow up aliens. It's all in good fun.

But there's a line. And the line is this: we don't pretend other people are dead or that we're going to kill them. I'm 100% in support of freedom of expression and few things rile me up as much as thought-policing PC advocates. But children do need to be taught that words have consequences and that some things are just aren't ok.

In my mind, it's not ok to tell your brother, "I'm going to kill you!" And the reason it's not ok (and this is what we tell them) is that killing another person is just about the worst thing you can do in this lifetime in this world. It is NOT ok. It is NOT fun or funny. And when someone is killed, they're gone forever.

Kids don't inately understand this of course. They need to be taught to respect life and other people. So when they say they're going to kill someone, they don't, for the most part, know what the hell they're saying. But it's exactly this kind of ignorance that, if allowed to continue, can help create young adult sociopaths who have no regard or respect for anyone.

So I say to my kids, THINK about what you're saying. And don't say things you don't really mean. You can "pow" and "blast" and "defeat" each other till the cows come home, so there's really no need for all this talk of killing. Oh and if you want to pretend that YOU'RE dead, be my guest. (Just remember that dead people don't talk). But you don't get to decide when other people die.

As for the particular incident mentioned above, it strikes me as yet another example of a school going overboard because they either don't know how or don't want to do what is really required in these types of situations: sit down, talk to the kids. Find out what they're thinking. Be an educator and have a f*cking DISCUSSION about it.

Grand Odalisque said...

I disagree vehemently with your husband. Where do all these mass shootings start? They start with someone imagining doing it. Seems to me that the human imagination requires the same kind of nurturing as the body, intellect, or soul. It is indeed a wonderful thing, when put to good use. Does it really make sense to say that the only way to cultivate a child's imagination is to allow it to have no boundaries? Would you be comfortable watching your child use his/her imagination to pretend to skin animals alive or torture another child? Once again, it would seem to me that this goes deeper than either saying, no, you can't play that way or saying, on the other hand, you can't tell a kid how to pretend. We need to be talking to our kids about these things. Seeing a child pretend to shoot another child is a prime opprotunity for healthy discussion and imagination cultivation. They have young, bright, vibrant minds. If encouraged, they can certainly come up with something more imaginative than "Bang, your dead." I appreciate that your husband doesn't want to stifle their creativity, but I don't believe he's doing them any favors.

Lurky Loo said...

This politically correct stuff is just ridiculous period! The world is not an evenly measured, fair place especially when you are dealing with kids. Little boys are wired for this sort of thing. Helicopter parents who try to control their kids thoughts and actions all of the time are responsible for the amotivational, ambitionless budding narcissists that we see today in our youth. People can complain about this sort of thing, yet ridiculous political correctness is alive and well. Someone is nurturing it and apparently there are a lot of "someones" do it.

Instead of getting your undies in a bundle about a kid imagining to be a super hero how about teaching them to be a decent person who respects themselves as well as others. I don't think you will ever have to worry about a kid playing with imaginary hand grenades if you manage to instill those values in them first. It's freaking ridiculous!!!!