In an all too familiar turn of events, a fifth-grader from Ohio was suspended for three days recently after pointing his finger into the shape of a gun.
Nathan Entingh is said to have pointed his finger at another student’s head, said “boom”, and pretended to fire, without the knowledge of the other child.
The principal at Devonshire Alternative Elementary School in Columbus then penned a letter in which she described the child’s heinous crime as the brandishing of a “level 2 lookalike firearm”.
Adding insult to injury, district spokesman Jeff Warner described Entingh’s actions as imitating firing a weapon “kind of execution style.”
It seems that the school was already looking for someone to make an example of, judging by Warner’s comments to The Columbus Dispatch.
“The kids were told, ‘If you don’t stop doing this type of stuff, there would be consequences,’” Warner said. “It’s just been escalating.”
The boy told reporters that he was “just playing around,” adding, “People play around like this a lot at my school.” He also described his own suspension as “dumb”.
The boy’s father is outraged by the incident, declaring it ridiculous and saying that a suspension is unnecessary.
“He said he was playing,” Paul Entingh said. “It would even make more sense maybe if he brought a plastic gun that looked like a real gun or something, but it was his finger.”
Ohio is one state where legislators have attempted to spare school children from this kind of insane zero tolerance nonsense. State Sen. Charleta Tavares, a Columbus Democrat, introduced a bill last year that would prevent schools from punishing students for such trivial incidents.
Upon introducing the bill, Tavares cited the case in Maryland where a young boy was suspended for chewing a pastry into a gun shape. “A gun-shaped edible snack is not a weapon,” Tavares said.
“Many of us on both sides of the aisle want to find something that will give school administrators flexibility so they can be reasonable, remain safe and keep students in school,” the Senator said yesterday.