Fifth-grader suspended for ‘shooting’ imaginary ‘arrow’ at classmate

finger pointing gunIt’s not just make-believe guns that kill. Make-believe arrows do, too.

“On Wednesday,” Craig Bannister of CNS News writes, “the Rutherford Institute announced it has come to the defense of a 10-year-old boy who was suspended under a school zero tolerance policy for shooting an imaginary ‘arrow’ at a fellow classmate, using nothing more than his hands and his imagination.”

This is not the child’s first imaginary offense. He has also “shot” classmates with an imaginary gun, after which he was threatened with expulsion.

A letter from Rutherford senior staff attorney Douglas McKusick to Rona Kaufmann, Superintendent of the South Eastern School District in Fawn Grove, Pa., challenges the actions taken Principal John Horton, noting that the school’s own Student Code of Conduct prohibits the possession of weapons, which it defines in the same document as any “knife, cutting instrument, cutting tool, nunchaku, firearm, shotgun, rifle, and any other tool, instrument or implement capable of inflicting serious bodily harm.” The prohibition also includes replicas or look-alikes, which — the letter notes — would seem to exclude human fingers.

Rutherford Institute President John W. Whitehead also weighed in, stating:

We all want to keep the schools safe, but I’d far prefer to see something credible done about actual threats, rather than this ongoing, senseless targeting of imaginary horseplay.

Rutherford has given Kaufmann until Dec. 13, 2013 to respond to its letter, after which the Institute will advise the child’s parents on how to proceed.

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