A six-year-old boy was suspended from school in Trappe, Maryland, for the grave offense of using his fingers as an imaginary gun in a game of cops and robbers — the second such suspension in the Old Line State this month.
The boy’s mother, Teri Bildstein, told the Easton, Maryland, Star Democrat that “the whole incident was the result of one student telling a teacher who was not in attendance about the ‘fingers like guns’ game on the playground.”
In days gone by, the snitching student would have been treated to a lecture about being a tattletale. Today, with “zero tolerance” policies and a school shooting still fresh in the minds of nervous administrators, the boy with the digit derringer instead ended up in the principal’s office, whereupon Principal Marcia Sprankle suspended him.
“This is easily the most ludicrous thing I have ever heard of,” the boy’s father, Army Staff Sgt. Stephen Grafton, told the Star Democrat shortly after the incident. “This, a completely harmless act of horseplay at recess, was by no means an offense that warranted a suspension. It was a pair of 6-year-olds playing with imaginary pistols, one of whom has a father who is charged by the United States with using firearms in his defense.”
Though initial reports suggested that two boys had been suspended over the incident, only Grafton and Bildstein’s son was — something they discovered in a Monday meeting with school administrators. Bildstein told the Star Democrat she had heard from “a few” other parents that their children had told them that they, too, were involved in the cops-and-robbers game; yet only her son was disciplined for it. It is the second time this school year that he has been suspended. “The other suspension,” the paper writes, was “for something she said is equally difficult to understand.”
Her son, too, was thoroughly confused, telling his parents, “I was just playing. I don’t understand.”
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