Children using toy Nerf guns at school get suspended
Edmonds students suspended for using Nerf guns at school
By Tracy Vedder Published: Jun 3, 2013 at 5:27 PM PDT Last Updated: Jun 3, 2013 at 7:10 PM PDT
EDMONDS, Wash. — A number of Edmonds school kids were recently suspended for having Nerf guns at school.
That’s not surprising considering the school’s “zero tolerance” policy on toy guns, but what is surprising is that the teacher allegedly told the kids it was okay to have the guns.
Now the kids’ parents want to know why their children were punished if the teacher gave permission for the guns.
The incident happened last Friday before class at Chase Lake Elementary School.
A sixth grade boy brought a number of the guns, which shoot small foam projectiles, to school for a class probability project. The kids were going to shoot the guns 100 times to see what happens.
The project was allegedly approved by the teacher. But the 12-year-old boys, being what they are, decided to “try out” the guns before the school doors opened.
“So he took them out and of course — Nerf gun — they started testing how far they would shoot,” said parent Shannon Shumard.
Neither Shumard’s sixth grade son nor her fourth grade daughter brought the Nerf guns to school, but because they participated, both were suspended for a day. Because of the suspensions, neither child will be able to take a high school algebra class or serve on the student council.
“They are both very upset,” Shumard said. “I mean, it’s a day suspension, but it’s a permanent on their record.”
Stacey Leidholm’s son, who she said has straight As, received the same punishment.
“I do understand that they definitely need consequences, but not that harsh of a consequence,” she said.
The Edmonds School District confirms that an incident at Chase Lake occurred, but won’t talk specifics. In general, they say with toy or facsimile guns, discipline is handed out at the discretion of the principal.
“Again, it’s a matter of safety and it’s of the utmost importance. So even if it’s a toy, we take it seriously,” said school district spokeswoman Amanda Ralston.
Both parents believe the district overreacted with the suspension, particularly because the teacher allegedly gave students permission to bring the toys.
“If the teacher and the school staff don’t even know their own rules, how are the children supposed to know them?” Shumard said.
Both parents are appealing the suspensions at district headquarters.