A copy of the toy gun which caused the disturbance. (Photo credit: WGGB, Springfield)
A 6-year-old boy in Palmer, Massachusetts, was discliplined after bringing a tiny plastic toy Lego gun on a school bus last week.
Mieke Crane, the boy’s mother told a local ABC affiliate that she is upset and believes that the school totally over-reacted.
“I could see if it was, you know, an Airsoft gun or some sort of pistol or live bullets, or something, but this is just a toy,” she said.
The gun, which is only slightly larger than a quarter, caused a massive disturbance on the bus when another student saw the toy in question and yelled at the bus driver to alert her that the 6-year-old had a gun. The bus driver apparently told Crane that the children on the bus were traumatized by the incident.
After brandishing the toy weapon, the young boy had to write a letter of apology to the bus driver, was given detention and may have been suspended from the bus. The other child which alerted the bus driver also had to apologize.
Following the incident, the elementary school sent out a letter to parents of the students explaining the details of what had happened. The school also assured parents that the gun was, in fact, just a toy and that the children were never in any real danger.
Crane, as well as the parents of the child who alerted the bus driver, agree that the school’s policies are sending the wrong messages to the children. While they are trained to alert adults if they see something dangerous, such as a student with a real gun, the zero-tolerance policy can be a bit confusing for 6-year-olds, especially when relating it to tiny plastic Lego guns. Crane even pointed out that her son knows that guns don’t belong in school, but that he didn’t relate the toy gun as being the same as a real gun, the kind which he knows don’t belong in schools.
The local news station attempted to contact the school’s Superintendent and principal by both phone and email, but received no response.