Overreacting To A Perceived Threat

CBS Baltimore reported yesterday that two six-year old boys were suspended after playing cops and robbers during recess and using their fingers as toy guns. Needless to say, the children‘s parents are furious.

The article reports:

Dr. Kaine (child psychologist Dr. Joe Kaine) says most six-year-olds’ minds aren’t developed enough to understand why their idea of fun play might make adults upset.

“I can certainly appreciate that at school, that’s not a type of play that they are going to endorse and I certainly support that, but that’s where we educate the time and place for doing things,” Kaine said.

A number of parents agree.

“Suspending them is a bit harsh and I don’t think that’s gonna do any good for the parent, child or school,” said Janet Geotzky.

The number of suspensions has been on the rise in Maryland. School leaders say they will try to reduce those numbers.

I am neither a violent person nor a mass murderer, but I will confess to playing cowboys and Indians as a child and using my pointed finger as a gun. With all the truly gory violence children are exposed to on television and in video games, it seems to me that the least of our worries is children imagining that their pointed fingers are guns. Have we forgotten how to let children be children?

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