A 10-year-old fifth grader attending Devonshire Alternative Elementary School in Columbus, Ohio was suspended for three days last week for pointing his finger in a gun-like fashion at a fellow fifth grader and then pretending to shoot his classmate.
The Columbus Dispatch reported on March 4 that the school principal suspended young Nathan Entingh for using a "lookalike firearm.”
“I was just playing around,” Nathan said. “People play around like this a lot at my school.”
According to a school spokesperson, Nathan pointed his finger at the other student’s head, and pretended to shoot “kind of execution style.”
And although other students at the same school are guilty of the same activity and haven’t been suspended, Principal Patricia Price says she’s warned her students “about pretend gun play numerous times this year.”
The kids were told, ‘If you don’t stop doing this type of stuff, there would be consequences,’” Warner said. “It’s just been escalating.”
Paul Entingh, Nathan’s dad, think it’s the adults at the school that are misbehaving.
“He said he was playing,” Paul Entingh said. “It would even make more sense maybe if he brought a plastic gun that looked like a real gun or something, but it was his finger.”
Nathan’s father said he would have at least appreciated an in-school suspension for his son. But as Nathan has never been in trouble at school before, the elder Entingh thinks the three day suspension “is overboard.”
State Sen. Charleta Tavares from Columbus, blames a 1998 state law requiring schools to adopt zero-tolerance policies, and has proposed legislation that would overturn that law.
Her legislation would forbid zero-tolerance school policies, “because she said they lead to unfair punishments.”
When asked by The Columbus Dispatch yesterday how he feels about his suspension, Nathan said, “I was thinking it was dumb.”