BRIGHTON, Colo. - A five-year-old Colorado girl was suspended from kindergarten Monday for bringing a gun to her elementary school. A gun, yes. But a bubble gun. The kind of toy that blows bubbles when you push the little plastic trigger and is sold at toy stores around the country.
Even so, Southeast Elementary School in Brighton says it has to stick to its policies and follow the same rules for everyone.
The little girl’s mother, who goes by Emma, said she was shocked when she got a call from the school telling her she needed to pick up her daughter and take her home.
“If they had contacted me and said, 'Can you make sure this doesn’t happen again, we just want you to be aware,' I think that would have been a more appropriate way to handle the situation. Could we have a warning?? It blows bubbles,” she said.
This isn't the first time a bubble gun has caused problems for a kindergarten student.
Emma said she never would have knowingly let her daughter bring the toy to school. She said her daughter put it in her backpack without telling her. But the school is sticking to its guns, calling the toy a safety concern and a classroom distraction.
It released a statement Tuesday:
“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. 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. 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.”
Emma said she understands the motive behind the policy. She just thinks common sense needs to be applied when enforcing it.
"I don't want her to miss out on class. That's a silly reason not to go to school. What bugs me is this is going to be something they can refer to if we have any issues in the future -- which I don't foresee -- but it's always going to be lingering there in her school file,” she said.