-Submitted by David Drumm (Nal), Guest Blogger
The 7-year-old boy was a student at Hammonton Early Childhood Education Center in Hammonton, NJ. The police were called after a report of “suspicious activity.” The “suspicious activity” involved a $5 toy gun, similar to a Nerf toy gun, that the child brought to school. The boy was charged with possession of an imitation firearm in or on an education institution, a misdemeanor offense.
The real offense is that the police took this incident seriously.
How much money will be spent prosecuting this child? Is Hammonton, NJ so awash with funds that it can afford this ridiculousness?
The boy’s mistake was he didn’t claim that the toy was a religious symbol as in Bentley Elementary School, in Canton, MI, where a Sikh boy wore a Kirpan to his fourth grade class. After finding the Kirpan had no sharp edges, the principal returned it to the boy. However, the Plymouth-Canton School District at first overruled the principal and banned Kirpans, saying it resembled a weapon. After numerous meetings and legal research, the Plymouth-Canton School District later relented and allowed Kirpans in school with restrictions. At least the Sikh boy wasn’t arrested.