Something made the local (and some national) news earlier this week, that has to stand out as one of the most shocking, ridiculous overreactions from school officials I have ever seen.
This past Wednesday, March 22, a 5-year-old boy at the Central School kindergarten in Hopkinton, Massachusetts, was standing in line to get on a school bus with his friends. His parents had recently taken him on a February vacation trip to a Wild West-themed park in Arizona, where they bought him a plastic toy cowboy gun and a cowboy hat. Sounds perfectly normal, right? Well, hold on.
That boy, Jonah Stone, showed the plastic toy six-shooter to another kindergarten student standing in the bus line to go home this past Wednesday. The result? This 5-year-old boy – a kindergartner – was pulled off the bus, taken inside the school, and held inside the school principal’s office. His mother, Christina Stone, was summoned to the school, where she was informed that: 1) This 5-year-old boy had violated the school’s policy on “guns,” and 2) That he was being suspended from the school for a day as “punishment.” For the sake of importance, I repeat here: This boy was 5-years old, and this “gun” was – quite obviously to anyone seeing it – a PLASTIC cowboy six-shooter. The boy’s mother, Christina Stone, found her 5-year-old son held in the principal’s office WITH A POLICE OFFICER. The boy was trembling, so scared that according to his mother, he was swallowing his tongue. Mrs. Stone told reporters that the principal, Mildred Katzman, very sternly reproached her and her son, and told Mrs. Stone that when she got home, she should sit down the 5-year-old, and tell him all about the tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut, where 26 people were killed in a shooting tragedy.