Hat tip to CJ for this:
A 6-year-old kindergartner sparked an uproar at his Massachusetts school when he was spotted brandishing a tiny plastic Lego gun on the school bus last week.
Mieke Crane, the child’s mother, insists that officials at Old Mill Pond Elementary School in Palmer overreacted when another student saw the toy, which is slightly bigger than a quarter, and alerted the driver Friday.
‘She [driver] said he caused quite a disturbance on the bus and that the children were traumatized,’ Crane told the local station WGGB.
I’m so glad the child didn’t bring aboard any high-capacity Lego magazines, either. Here’s the size of what he was brandishing:
This isn’t unprecedented, as it also happened to a NYC 4th grader as well 3 years ago:
Patrick Timoney, a 9-year-old student at PS 52 in Staten Island, N.Y., was in the school cafeteria Tuesday playing with LEGOs when he was taken to the principal’s office and threatened with suspension. One of his toys was a LEGO policeman that holds a 2-inch plastic gun. The school has a no-tolerance policy when it comes to toy guns.
“You don’t traumatize a child who loved to go to school, who wanted to be early every day to school, you don’t make him cry, you don’t make him fill out statements,” she told WNBC, holding back tears. “You don’t do it.”
Pat Timoney, the boy’s father and a retired police officer, was also upset, saying that he’s dealt with people who use imitation weapons as a way to threaten others and commit crimes, and that this situation is different, considering the pinky-size gun in question.
Even worse is 5 year old Joseph Cardosa who dared to build (out of colorful bricks) a more “life-sized” Lego gun and bring it to school, earlier this year (also in a Massachusetts school):
Legos can transport kids to imaginary worlds — and get them in real trouble. A 5-year-old boy is facing suspension after building a Lego gun at his Massachusetts school. Hyannis West Elementary warned Joseph Cardosa’s parents that their son would be suspended from its after-school program if he had another gun incident. Yes, even if the firearm was pieced together from colorful plastic bricks. Joseph’s parents are aghast. “It’s not like he’s designing a machine gun,” his dad says. The principal says the school needs to maintain a safe environment: “While someone might think that making a Lego gun is just an action of a 5-year-old, to other 5-year-olds, that might be a scary experience.” [Source]
Without meaning to insult a 5 year old, that looks nothing to me like a gun. It could be anything. Just use your imagination.
I suppose it’s all in the way you’re “brandishing” it. After all, it’s the thought behind it that’s criminal, right? Good thing he didn’t start brandishing a banana menacingly in the school cafeteria.
If Joseph built a colorful assault rifle like this kid and brought it to school- that would have really traumatized everyone:
Is common sense and sanity no longer the norm?
Now this guy, on the other hand, means serious toy-building business:[youtube]http://youtu.be/Mmh2jIgvonM[/youtube]
I’m sure this has got to be the handiwork of a nerdy lone-builder.
Back to the original story:
In the aftermath of the incident, the school sent a letter home to parents explaining what happened and stressing that there was no actual firearm aboard the bus, and that the students were never in any danger.
The missive was accompanied by a photo of the black toy gun showing its actual diminutive size.
Crane’s son has been forced to write a letter of apology to the bus driver. He was also given detention Tuesday and could be temporary stripped off his busing privileges.
The Real Phantom Menace: Manufactured Outrage
A former fetus, the “wordsmith from nantucket” was born in Phoenix, Arizona in 1968. Adopted at birth, wordsmith grew up a military brat. He achieved his B.A. in English from the University of California, Los Angeles (graduating in the top 97% of his class), where he also competed rings for the UCLA mens gymnastics team. The events of 9/11 woke him from his political slumber and malaise. Currently a personal trainer and gymnastics coach.
The wordsmith has never been to Nantucket.