- The Washington Times - Wednesday, May 18, 2016

A 5-year-old Colorado girl was suspended this week for bringing a clear plastic bubble “gun” to school.

The girl’s mother, who requested her identity be concealed due to privacy concerns, said she didn’t know her daughter had put the bubble maker in her backpack Monday morning before heading off to kindergarten class at Southeast Elementary in Brighton, a local ABC News affiliate reported.

The girl was suspended for the rest of the day after she took the toy out of her bag in the hallway during indoor recess, the station reported.

“I apologized right away and said that I am so sorry she did that,” the mother said. “I appreciate that they’re trying to keep our kids safe, I really do. But there needs to be some common sense. It blows bubbles.”

A spokesman with Adams County School District 27J in Brighton released a statement defending the suspension.

“While we hear and understand the parents of this student being concerned about this discipline in light of the student’s age and type of item, this suspension is consistent with our district policy as well as how Southeast has handled similar situations throughout this school year,” the statement read. “This has involved similar situations where students have brought items such as Nerf guns to school and also received one-day suspensions.

“The bringing of weapons, real or facsimile, to our schools by students can not only create a potential safety concern but also cause a distraction for our students in the learning process,” it continued. “Our schools, particularly Southeast because of past instances with students bringing fake weapons to school, make a point of asking parents to be partners in making sure students are not bringing these items to school. This includes asking parents to check backpacks.”

The district’s policy, however, bans fake guns “that could reasonably be mistaken for an actual firearm.”

“It’s absurd to send a 5-year-old home for a bubble-maker,” Nathan Woodliff, the executive director of the ACLU of Colorado, told the ABC News affiliate. “This is a silly example of a very real problem. Zero-tolerance policies often mean zero common sense.”

“When children are disciplined in ways that don’t make sense, they actually lose respect for the school they don’t gain respect,” he added.

The girl’s mother said she hopes her story will prevent overreactions like this from happening again.

“My reason for doing this story is because the principal didn’t seem like she wanted to have a conversation with me this morning about it,” she said. “It was a very superior attitude. She made it very clear that she didn’t care what I had to say and that it didn’t matter what I said. It was something that she was going to enforce no matter what.”

Copyright © 2018 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.

The Washington Times Comment Policy

The Washington Times is switching its third-party commenting system from Disqus to Spot.IM. You will need to either create an account with Spot.im or if you wish to use your Disqus account look under the Conversation for the link "Have a Disqus Account?". Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.

 

Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide