Explore The NRA Universe Of Websites

APPEARS IN News

Outrage of the Week: Kindergartner Suspended for Princess Bubble Gun

Friday, May 27, 2016

Outrage of the Week: Kindergartner Suspended for Princess Bubble Gun

Early last week, school officials at Southeast Elementary in Brighton, Colo. suspended a 5-year-old kindergartner for bringing a “fake weapon” to school. Illustrating the fanatical manner in which school weapons policies are enforced throughout the country, the “weapon” in question was a battery-powered clear plastic gun that blows bubbles when the trigger is pulled. The item’s clear plastic construction may not have been enough for the administrators to distinguish it from an actual weapon, but if the zealots had been in less of a fervor to punish the young student they might have noticed the portrait of two Disney princesses on the toy.

In an interview with Denver’s KDVR, the young girl’s mother made clear that she was upset with how her daughter had been treated, telling a reporter, “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.”

Despite attention from the local media, Southeast Elementary officials issued the following statement defending their actions:


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.


Note the word “facsimile.” The Southeast Elementary Student Code of Conduct cites a school district weapons policy that states:


Carrying, using, actively displaying or threatening with the use of a firearm facsimile that could reasonably be mistaken for an actual firearm on district property, when being transported in vehicles dispatched by the district or one of its schools, during a school sponsored or district-sponsored activity or event, and off school property when such conduct has a reasonable connection to school or any district curricular or non-curricular event without the authorization of the school or school district is prohibited. Students who violate this policy provision may be subject to disciplinary action including but not limited to suspension and/or expulsion.


Facsimile typically connotes an exact copy, however, the policy does broaden the definition to allow for punishment if a student brings an item that “could reasonably be mistaken for a firearm.” It is hard to imagine how any reasonable person could mistake a clear, Disney-branded bubble toy for an actual firearm. But, here lies the problem, this kindergartner was clearly not interacting with reasonable individuals. Worse, the school’s response reveals that this type of unreasonable behavior is standard procedure for the school’s administrators.

Incidents like this are why NRA has supported legislation in some states to protect children and parents from the abuse of weapons policies by overzealous school officials. In Florida, NRA helped enact the “Right to be a Kid” Act, also known as the “Pop Tart” bill - referring to a well-publicized incident where a student was disciplined for chewing a breakfast pastry into the shape of a firearm. This law targets some of the worst abuses, by making clear that “Simulating a firearm or weapon while playing or wearing clothing or accessories that depict a firearm or weapon or express an opinion regarding a right guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution is not grounds for disciplinary action or referral to the criminal justice or juvenile justice system.”

Given an apparent pattern of weapons policy abuse by Southeast Elementary school administrators, Colorado lawmakers would be wise to better define how school officials deal with innocuous toys and other harmless items and behavior. Such harmful encounters with school officials can have a lasting negative effect on students. As the mother in this this case explained to a reporter, “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.”

IN THIS ARTICLE
Colorado Toy Guns school safety

BY NRA-ILA Staff

TRENDING NOW
Massachusetts: Progressives Pass Radical Gun Control Bill

Friday, July 19, 2024

Massachusetts: Progressives Pass Radical Gun Control Bill

Progressive politicians in Massachusetts just passed one of the most extreme gun control bills in the country.

Massachusetts: Senate Passes Sweeping Gun Control Without Public Hearing

Friday, February 2, 2024

Massachusetts: Senate Passes Sweeping Gun Control Without Public Hearing

On Thursday, February 1st, the Senate passed S.2572 late in the night without the bill ever receiving a public hearing, ignoring the concerns of Minority Leader Bruce Tarr and second amendment advocates across the state. 

Massachusetts: Contact the H. 4139 Conference Committee NOW

Friday, April 19, 2024

Massachusetts: Contact the H. 4139 Conference Committee NOW

For nearly a year, extreme anti-gun Massachusetts politicians have been pushing one of the most extreme gun control bills in the country.

VA Tells Congressional Panel it “Could Not” and “Would Not” Comply with Pro-gun Legislation

News  

Monday, July 15, 2024

VA Tells Congressional Panel it “Could Not” and “Would Not” Comply with Pro-gun Legislation

Last Wednesday, the Subcommittee on Disability Assistance and Memorial Affairs of the House Veterans Affairs Committee held a legislative hearing on a number of proposed bills that would change various procedures and standards for how the Department ...

NRA Scores Legal Victory Against ATF; “Pistol Brace Rule” Enjoined From Going Into Effect Against NRA Members

Monday, April 1, 2024

NRA Scores Legal Victory Against ATF; “Pistol Brace Rule” Enjoined From Going Into Effect Against NRA Members

NRA Members Among the Largest Class Protected from Draconian Rule

Third Circuit Affirms Denial of Preliminary Injunction in NRA-ILA-Supported Challenge to Delaware’s ban on “assault weapons” and “large-capacity magazines.”

Tuesday, July 16, 2024

Third Circuit Affirms Denial of Preliminary Injunction in NRA-ILA-Supported Challenge to Delaware’s ban on “assault weapons” and “large-capacity magazines.”

On Monday, July 15, the Third Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the district court’s denial of a preliminary injunction in Delaware State Sportsmen’s Association v. Delaware Department of Safety & Homeland Security, NRA-ILA’s lawsuit challenging ...

NRA Applauds President Trump’s Selection of Senator J.D. Vance as His Running Mate

News  

Second Amendment  

Monday, July 15, 2024

NRA Applauds President Trump’s Selection of Senator J.D. Vance as His Running Mate

Following President Donald J. Trump’s announcement of his selection of U.S. Senator J.D. Vance as his running mate, the National Rifle Association of America (NRA) released the below statements.

New Hampshire: Critical Pro-Gun Privacy Bill Signed Into Law

Friday, July 12, 2024

New Hampshire: Critical Pro-Gun Privacy Bill Signed Into Law

On Friday, July 12th, Governor Chris Sununu (R-New Hampshire) signed HB 1186, "an act relative to firearm purchaser's privacy."

New Orleans Tries an End-run around Constitutional Carry

News  

Monday, July 8, 2024

New Orleans Tries an End-run around Constitutional Carry

Louisiana Governor Jeff Landry (R) assumed office on January 8 of this year and wasted no time working to protect the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding Louisianans. 

Massachusetts: Anti-Gun Bill Passes House

Wednesday, October 18, 2023

Massachusetts: Anti-Gun Bill Passes House

This evening, anti-gun politicians in the Massachusetts House of Representatives passed H. 4135, “an act modernizing firearm laws” by a vote of 120-38. This bill, formerly known as HD 4420 and HD 4607, now heads ...

MORE TRENDING +
LESS TRENDING -

More Like This From Around The NRA

NRA ILA

Established in 1975, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the "lobbying" arm of the National Rifle Association of America. ILA is responsible for preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals in the legislative, political, and legal arenas, to purchase, possess and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.