9-Year-Old Massachusetts Boy Facing Charges for Bringing Toy Gun on School BusMeredith Carroll
I make no secret of my immense dislike for guns, the Second Amendment be damned. Whether they’re real or fake, I think guns generally do more harm than good when in the hands of anyone but police officials and the military, and any gun around a child should be immediately confiscated and destroyed.
The other day my toddler was playing outside with some neighborhood kids when a 10-year-old neighbor brought out a toy gun that measured longer than he did from head to toe. It made me cringe and want to bring her inside. I get that mixing toy guns with kids is unavoidable to an extent, but I’ll keep trying my best anyway to keep weapons and the poisonous message I think they spread away from my kids nonetheless.
All that being said, I think it’s a little drastic that a 9-year-old boy in Palmer, Massachusetts, is being summoned to juvenile court to face charges for bringing a toy handgun on his school bus.
Guns of any variety — toy or real — don’t belong in school, particularly since so many fake ones can look so realistic. The chief of police said there was no indication, however, that the boy wanted to hurt anyone, but still the school’s superintendent said that appropriate action was taken “based on the policies and procedures” in place anway.
The kid told police that he forgot he had the gun in his jacket when he got on the bus. And because it was a toy that shoots soft plastic projectiles, it is considered a weapon, and there is a zero tolerance policy for weapons at the Old Mill Pond Elementary School where the boy is enrolled.
I can see suspending the kid for some amount of time to teach him a lesson and set a concrete example for others that there is no tolerance for weapons of any ilk, but sending him to juvenile court at the age of 9 to face real charges seems a little too harsh to me. And I hate guns.
Do you admire the school for sticking to their zero tolerance policy, or do you think they could have handled the issue within the school without bringing it to the police?