Once again, there is a report of a school apparently overreacting to an incident involving “guns” in school, according to a Daily Caller report on Friday. When the mother of a third grade boy, Hunter, took 30 homemade birthday cupcakes to Schall Elementary School in Michigan for the boy’s classmates to help celebrate the boy's birthday, there was a concern by school officials. The concern involved the World War II toy soldiers that were placed on top of the cupcakes for decorative purposes. The toy World War II soldiers, logically, held guns.
Approximately 15 minutes after the mother had left the cupcakes in the school’s office to be delivered to her son's classroom, she received a call saying that the principal had deemed the cupcakes as being “insensitive” due to the Sandy Hook Elementary shootings which occurred about three months ago in which Adam Lanza shot and killed 20 similarly-aged elementary school students and seven adults. The mother’s response was for the school to remove the soldiers from the cupcakes and to serve them to the class anyway.
When the boy’s father heard of the incident, he reacted quite strongly by saying that the situation disgusted him. He told Fox News: “It’s vile they lump true American heroes with psychopathic killers.” The father, who was obviously angered over the situation, said that political correctness is being taken too far.
Susan Wright, the principal of Schall Elementary School, however, stood by her decision to ban the toy soldiers with guns from the classroom in her school.
These are toys that were commonplace in the past; however, some parents prohibit all guns as toys. In light of that difference, the school offered to replace the soldiers with another item and the soldiers were returned home with the student. Living in a democratic society entails respect for opposing opinions. In the climate of recent events in schools, we walk a delicate balance in teaching non-violence in our buildings and trying to ensure a safe, peaceful atmosphere.
Just a week ago, a young boy at Park Elementary School in Baltimore, Maryland, was suspended for two days because he chewed his strawberry tart into the shape of a mountain which the teacher thought was chewed into the shape of a gun.
Just days before that, an eighth grade student at Genoa-Kingston Middle School in Illinois threatened to suspend a student if he didn’t take off a Marines tee-shirt which sported a common guns-themed logo of the United States Marines.