PDA

View Full Version : School completely overreacts to toy Lego gun



Gemdrite
02-04-2010, 11:19 PM
http://www.nydailynews.com/ny_local/education/2010/02/04/2010-02-04_big_trouble_over_this_tiny_toy_mom_fuming_at_a_ lack_of_common_sense_as_son_buste.html

Basically, the kid was playing with a Lego guy at recess with a friend, took out a 2 inch Lego gun to pretend he was a cop, and the school pulled him into the principal's office while they decided whether they would suspend him or not. Just complete overreaction. But what gets me is the mother. This quote from the article confuses me:

"The mother said she expects an apology and may sue.
"The toy gun is not the issue," she said. "A lack of common sense is the issue.""

Okay, so, the school overreacts, but no harm actually came to your child, so you are going to sue them for....stupidity? I just don't get how she can criticize the school for a lack of common sense and for overreacting, and in the same breath says she is considering suing the school...cause that's not overreacting?

Personally, if I'd been the teacher, I would have just taken the toys away and given them to the parents, but that's cause we have a "no toy during school hours" policy. Mostly to cover our butts if/when the toy gets damages or disappears. Cause one of our teachers has been threatened with a lawsuit because the kid left their DS in the classroom, the teacher put it in the office in her box for the parents to pick up, and the parents waited for 3 weeks before actually attempting to get it. It was left on the last day of school, and sometime during those three weeks it disappeared. So now we have to be hard a**es and not let the kids have their own toys during school hours. *sighs* Why is common sense, not common?

LdyJhawk
02-04-2010, 11:37 PM
Oh come now, suing is the American way! Someone gave you the side eye?! SUE THEM FOR ALL THEY HAVE!

Jayde
02-05-2010, 12:05 AM
Oh come now, suing is the American way! Someone gave you the side eye?! SUE THEM FOR ALL THEY HAVE!


OMG! you're snarky comment offended me! I'm gonna sue you!! ::runfore:




*sailing happily along the sea of sarcasm* *rotfl*


I do agree though...that's a bit of an overreaction.

Cyranno DeBoberac
02-05-2010, 01:41 AM
I'm actually more curious about the following passage:


Patrick Timoney, 9, was terrified when he was yanked into the principal's office to discuss the teeny-weeny plastic "weapon."

"The gun was so little," the boy said. "I don't understand why the principal got so upset. I was a little nervous. They made me sign a statement."

WTF kind of a statement did they make a 9-year-old boy sign?

LdyJhawk
02-05-2010, 02:10 AM
Nothing legally binding, that's for damn sure

Conall Crow
02-05-2010, 04:08 AM
Definately not legally binding. Anyone underage is required to have an adult guardian with them when it comes to signing legal documents. While I hate some of the lawsuits you here about nowadays... This is one time I would be just fine with one.


Nothing legally binding, that's for damn sure

Cyranno DeBoberac
02-05-2010, 08:56 AM
Definately not legally binding. Anyone underage is required to have an adult guardian with them when it comes to signing legal documents.

I wonder if school officials can weasel their way around that requirement by using the fact that while in possession of the child they are considered to be guardians in loco parentis.

In any case, it's an abuse of their position to browbeat a child into signing something.

Kae
02-05-2010, 08:57 AM
More than likely the document was one of two that are quite common in the school system.
1. A statement that describes what you had on the premises.
or 2. A statement that you understand the rules and you understand what the district defines as weapons. Followed by a statement that you will not bring it again.

You would be amazed at how often these statements are used. They use them with real weapons as well. (Ask the kid who decided to practice his throwing technique with his new flying stars. (3 inch points.) He did not have any malice, nor did he intend to hurt anyone.) It did make the teachers a bit nervous though when we came upon it.

Kae

Molly The Pirate
02-05-2010, 09:10 AM
these people are nuts. IT WAS LEGOS FOR CRYIN OUT LOUD!!!!! really... it was just legos.

Jamianne
02-05-2010, 09:36 AM
I wonder what the schools policy for weapons on the premisis is. Some districts have a zero-tolerance that even a 2 inch Lego toy would violate. I'm not saying that the principal didn't overreact, but it's sure not worth throwing a fit or sueing over, either - especially if the kid was in the wrong to begin with.

Gemdrite
02-05-2010, 10:47 AM
More than likely the document was one of two that are quite common in the school system.
1. A statement that describes what you had on the premises.
or 2. A statement that you understand the rules and you understand what the district defines as weapons. Followed by a statement that you will not bring it again.

You would be amazed at how often these statements are used. They use them with real weapons as well. (Ask the kid who decided to practice his throwing technique with his new flying stars. (3 inch points.) He did not have any malice, nor did he intend to hurt anyone.) It did make the teachers a bit nervous though when we came upon it.

Kae
Yeah, I was thinking it was probably number 1. I know I've had kids sign notes that I've sent home to parents, just so the parent can see that the kid agrees with what I've sent home. We send home notes that request improved behavior, and if I write down what happened, usually I just sign and send. But with a couple of kids who have an alarming tendency to change the story once they get home (and mom and dad always believe their version, period, end of discussion), I will sometimes have the kid sign the note too, to show that we discussed what I wrote and the child agreed with what I wrote. Helps save some headaches later.

We've also done number 2, now that I think about. Signing behavior contracts. Usually the parent is there too, but sometimes I've just had them for the classroom, and it's kind of a deal between me and the child, so we both sign it. Neither are legally binding, of course, but designed to have the child more involved in their behavior and the consequences.

Saucy Sue
02-05-2010, 11:07 AM
I can understand having a zero tolerance policy but it is crazy when common sense goes right out the door. It was a 2-inch Lego toy. No way it could be mistaken for the real thing.

We had a couple of cases down here a few years ago where there was no common sense used at all. One was involving a plastic knife that a child had brought to cut an apple with on her way to school. She had braces and had difficulty starting an apple on her own. The other involved a Korean pencil sharpener. That child was an honor student and president of student council. Her mom had bought school supplies during the summer when she was home in Korea visiting relatives. The sharpener had a tiny blade that unfolded and you used it to whittle a pencil.

Lady Hefron
02-05-2010, 11:14 AM
I can understand having a zero tolerance policy but it is crazy when common sense goes right out the door. It was a 2-inch Lego toy. No way it could be mistaken for the real thing.


Yeah, unfortunately I think that most of the time zero tolerance policies negate common sense. I understand no tolerance for weapons, but a lego gun isn't a weapon. The school needed to handle this a lot better.

Having said that, there are absolutely no grounds for the mother to sue. If we could sue for stupidity many of us would be rich.

Alluring Alora
02-05-2010, 04:32 PM
So when do the schools start suspending kids for using their thumb/index finger as a gun?

You could poke little Timmy's eye out with that thing!!!


Seriously, it's society taking turns like this that make me thankful I didn't procreate...

Lady Hefron
02-05-2010, 06:20 PM
So when do the schools start suspending kids for using their thumb/index finger as a gun?

You could poke little Timmy's eye out with that thing!!!


Seriously, it's society taking turns like this that make me thankful I didn't procreate...

This made me giggle. I can remember playing Cowboys and Indians (I know they can't play that anymore, not PC) as a kid and using a stick as a rifle. Ah, the joys of not knowing better.

Alluring Alora
02-06-2010, 12:51 PM
using a stick as a rifle. Ah, the joys of not knowing better.

AND YOU LIVED?????

NO WAY!!!


heehee

Cyranno DeBoberac
02-06-2010, 04:13 PM
In other NYC school official overreaction news this week, a 12-year-old Queens girl was handed over by school officials to the police to be arrested and led away in handcuffs for scribbling on her desk with a lime-green erasable magic marker.

http://www.nydailynews.com/ny_local/education/2010/02/05/2010-02-05_cuffed_for_doodling_on_a_desk.html

Cyranno DeBoberac
02-06-2010, 04:17 PM
As for the lawsuits, in terms of people trying to hit the lottery with them, yeah, it's inappropriate.

But on the other hand, lawsuits are the only tool available with which to take a corrective action against an organization that engages in systematic abuses.

It's the equivalent of using a squirt bottle on a misbehaving cat. How else are you going to get the school system, from the top down, to stop being such asshats?

I wish there were a better way to accomplish that than with lawsuits, but frankly I'm not sure that there is.

shadowcat546
02-06-2010, 05:54 PM
wow. that school over-reacted about a micro plastic (flat) Lego toy. Yes, the mom should be angry.
Heaven forbid they start disciplining or suspending (?or detention) for kids drawing an image of a gun or for pointing a finger /thumb like a gun. will it come down to : you can't say the word gun.
Clarify: Yes, kids need to leave the gun/war fare play outside of learning environment (unless you allow that at recess).
I don't mean "I think the kid needed suspension or detention". I put "?detention" because I don't know if that would ever have happened in a school. I think scaring a kid that badly, about a teeny toy was wrong. Kid should've been taken aside by teacher (?if they have that power), first to "ok, playing with that at school is wrong, give it to me/put it away don't take it out-don't bring it back\I'm mailing it home to your parents w/note to never bring one again" would've been better; then, Principal gives rule-breaker a talking to...good enough.
Teachers already have to balance so many rules, and have to follow so many policies. they ?sometimes, ?often have a tough job.
I guess it didn't come out the way I wanted it to.

Gemdrite
02-06-2010, 06:46 PM
wow. that school over-reacted about a micro plastic (flat) Lego toy. Yes, the mom should be angry.
Heaven forbid they start disciplining or suspending (?or detention) for kids drawing an image of a gun or for pointing a finger /thumb like a gun. will it come down to : you can't say the word gun.
Well, disciplining for it and suspending can be two very different things. The rule in my classroom (and our school) is, you don't pretend you have guns. Period. If a child in my room pretends to have a gun, we discuss why that isn't nice, why we don't allow it, and that they shouldn't do it again. If they continue to pretend they are shooting someone, they will start losing minutes off of recess. It's discipline, but I would never suspend or give a detention to a student for doing so. In fact, the discipline is more for the fact that they haven't listened and followed the rules of my classroom/school more than that they are pretending to have a gun. The rule exists, you knew it existed, you were warned, and you choose to continue breaking the rule anyways. That's disrespectful and sometimes defiant, and both will have consequences.

Bean
02-06-2010, 07:43 PM
As for the lawsuits, in terms of people trying to hit the lottery with them, yeah, it's inappropriate.

But on the other hand, lawsuits are the only tool available with which to take a corrective action against an organization that engages in systematic abuses.

It's the equivalent of using a squirt bottle on a misbehaving cat. How else are you going to get the school system, from the top down, to stop being such asshats?

I wish there were a better way to accomplish that than with lawsuits, but frankly I'm not sure that there is.

Unfortunately these lawsuits are bankrupting an already crumbling educational system that is far below global standards. In 20 years our children won't be able to get an education and we will be reduced to 3rd world status....