A third grade boy wanted to celebrate his ninth birthday by sharing cupcakes with classmates, but educators at Schall Elementary School in Caro, Mich., removed the toy soldiers that decorated the treats, calling them "insensitive," WNEM reported Thursday.
According to WNEM, the boy's mother "whipped up" a batch of 30 cupcakes for the class, topping them off with plastic toy soldiers -- the same kind countless children have played with for decades.
About 15 minutes after the cupcakes were delivered to the school, Casey Fountain's wife received a call from the principal saying the cupcakes could not be served because the toy soldiers were carrying guns.
“My wife told them to remove the soldiers and serve the cupcakes anyway — and I believe she may have used more colorful language,” Fountain told Fox News' Todd Starnes.
Susan Wright, principal of Schall Elementary would not talk with WNEM, but released a statement.
"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. On one hand, there are those who advocate arming teachers, having armed security guards and creating a fortress of defense in our schools. On the other hand, there are those who feel that guns create fear in schools and we need to put solid security measures in place plus practice routines to be prepared in case an emergency should ever occur. Living in a democratic society entails respect for opposing opinions," she wrote.
"Recently, a third grade boy brought cupcakes to school with plastic soldiers carrying weapons atop each one. 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," she added.
"In hindsight, one can always second guess a course of action. Schools walk a tightrope on many topics. By not permitting toy soldiers on cupcakes at school, no disrespect for our military or for the brave men and women who defend our right to have differences was intended. Our commitment is always to our children and creating a safe place for them to learn, grow and have respectful dialogues about their differences," she concluded.
But Fountain told Starnes that the incident disgusted and offended him.
“It’s vile they lump true American heroes with psychopathic killers,” he said.
“I support our soldiers and what they stand for. These (plastic soldiers) are representations of World War Two soldiers – our greatest generation. If they aren’t allowed in our schools — who is?” he asked.
Fountain's boy got his soldiers back, but, his father said, he doesn't understand what the fuss is all about.
“It’s not about a toy,” Fountain said. “It’s not about a cupcake. It’s what the toy represents — and we’re just taking political correctness too far.”
The incident has sparked a firestorm of controversy on WNEM's Facebook page. As of this writing, the article has 570 comments, with most taking the school to task for the action.
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