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
NRA-ILA Backed Lawsuit Filed Challenging Oregon Measure 114

Thursday, December 1, 2022

NRA-ILA Backed Lawsuit Filed Challenging Oregon Measure 114

Today an NRA-backed lawsuit was filed challenging Ballot Measure 114, which voters passed by a slim margin last month. Measure 114 creates a falsely labeled “permit to purchase” a firearm requirement and bans standard capacity magazines, which it ...

Recent ATF Action Shows Need for Suppressor Reform

News  

Monday, March 14, 2022

Recent ATF Action Shows Need for Suppressor Reform

As we reported last week, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (“ATF”) denied approximately 850 Form 1 applications for prospective makers of suppressors on February 28. These denials were apparently made due to ...

NY AG James Sends Threatening Letter to Ammunition Sellers

News  

Monday, November 21, 2022

NY AG James Sends Threatening Letter to Ammunition Sellers

In a move that surprised absolutely nobody, anti-gun New York Attorney General Letitia James (D) announced last week that she would expand her assault on the Second Amendment by targeting ammunition sellers. AG James claimed, ...

Maryland: Montgomery County Passes Carry Restrictions

Wednesday, November 16, 2022

Maryland: Montgomery County Passes Carry Restrictions

Maryland’s most anti-gun county has continued its tantrum, lashing out against lawful carry in the only way it thinks it can. Yesterday, the Montgomery County Council voted unanimously to pass Bill 21-22E, to remove the exemption ...

Public Lands Lawsuit Settled—All Lands Remain Open to Hunting

Thursday, December 1, 2022

Public Lands Lawsuit Settled—All Lands Remain Open to Hunting

In 2020, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service expanded hunting and fishing opportunities on more than 2.3 million acres of land. That decision was challenged in federal court, and the NRA, Safari Club International, Sportsmen’s ...

Colorado: Broomfield City Moves to Adopt Gun Control Package to Diminish Second Amendment Rights!

Thursday, December 1, 2022

Colorado: Broomfield City Moves to Adopt Gun Control Package to Diminish Second Amendment Rights!

Earlier this week, Broomfield City Council advanced a gun control package to impose on law-abiding citizens.  The second reading will be held in January.  In truth, none of the slew of regulations will stop criminals ...

NRA Achieves Historical Milestone as 25 States Recognize Constitutional Carry

News  

Friday, April 1, 2022

NRA Achieves Historical Milestone as 25 States Recognize Constitutional Carry

Half the country will now enjoy the freedom to carry a handgun for self-defense without a permit from the state thanks to the tireless efforts of men and women of the National Rifle Association. 

ATF Mass Denial of Suppressor Form 1 Applications

News  

Monday, March 7, 2022

ATF Mass Denial of Suppressor Form 1 Applications

On February 28, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (“ATF”) denied approximately 850 Form 1 applications for prospective makers of suppressors. These denials were apparently made due to a change in ATF policy ...

DOJ Releases Biden Gun Confiscation Order Legislation

News  

Wednesday, June 9, 2021

DOJ Releases Biden Gun Confiscation Order Legislation

DOJ has made clear that Garland’s selective definition of “civil rights” has no room for the Second Amendment...

Ohio: Emergency Powers Bill Advances to House Floor

Thursday, December 1, 2022

Ohio: Emergency Powers Bill Advances to House Floor

Today, the House Government Oversight committee voted 8-5 to pass Senate Bill 185, to guarantee that Second Amendment rights remain protected during emergencies. It will now go to the House floor for further consideration.

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.