Florida Student Reportedly Suspended For Using Finger Gun In Playground Game

220px-gesture_thumb_up_then_down_forefinger_out_like_gun1We have previously followed the suspensions and discipline of students under zero tolerance policies that are used by teachers to justify zero judgment or responsibility. I have long criticized zero tolerance policies that have led to suspensions and arrests of children (here and here and here and here). Here is a prior column on the subject (and here).Children have been suspended or expelled for drawing stick figures or wearing military hats or bringing Legos shaped like guns or even having Danish in the shape of a gun. Despite the public outcry over the completely irrational and abusive application of zero tolerance rules, administrators and teachers continue to apply them blindly. If you do not have to exercise judgment, you can never been blamed for any failure. That seems to be the logic out of Harmony, Florida where teachers have suspended eight-year-old Jordan Bennett for using a finger as a play gun. This is only the last of such absurd finger gun cases. In the meantime, a student in Rhode Island was suspended for having a key chain with a tiny gun the size of a quarter on it.

ABFBC26352DC6369D3445976ABEC5_h316_w628_m5_cgGgsLlYpJordan was playing cops and robbers at Harmony Community School in Osceola County when teachers spotted them. Apparently appalled by the image of this standard childhood game, the teachers moved to suspend Jordan for forming his fingers into a gun. The school district declined to respond but said that the game was a clear violation of the code of student conduct. Exactly how bad could a finger gun be? Did he do a pretend mob hit to the back of a head or reload and use and excessive number of pretend rounds?

Regardless of the details, it appears to have been a game in the playground between eight year olds. Surely, even in a place called Harmony, boys play such games. If he went too far, is such a game really a cause for a suspension?

Clearly, we need bumper stickers reading “I’ll give you my finger gun when you take it from my cold, dead hands.”

By the way, here is the picture of that keychain in Rhode Island that led to a seventh grader being suspended:

What do you think?

36 thoughts on “Florida Student Reportedly Suspended For Using Finger Gun In Playground Game”

  1. Time for the parents to host Clint Eastwood Western parties for friends who have kids that go to school together. Teachers invited.

  2. Tootie:

    where have you been? Been reading a bunch I bet.

    I miss your posts, they caused such consternation among the intellectual elite.

  3. You don’t love your children enough if you have them in these brainwashing factories (government schools).

  4. One day, children will lean that if you do not like school, all you have to do is make a finger gun where the teachers can see you, and you will get sent home…

  5. Mike S.:

    I can believe it. From what I’ve read, it is a Stepford for simpletons. It also appears to be a classic sundown town.


    The school principal makes suspension decisions. You can appeal to the school board, but I don’t think there’s any right to judicial review if the suspension is for fewer than ten days. But I’m no expert on school law. I could be wrong on the remedies.

  6. it would end with the Beave in Juvie, Wally in a foster home, Ward in jail, and June all alone, pacing the kitchen.”

    eddie haskell will keep june company.

  7. Wonder how that school staff would fit in if they were suddenly transplanted to our area? Many schools in rural counties close during deer season. They might as well; you couldn’t find half the students or faculty, much less administrators during deer season.

    Probably not well at all if they were treated to lunchroom conversations among both students and faculty about the merits of reloading, bullet specs and the best rifles and scopes.

  8. Mike S.:

    I don’t think I could qualify for admission in The Villages anyway because I’m not a Republican.

    1. “I don’t think I could qualify for admission in The Villages anyway because I’m not a Republican.”

      Mike A.,

      I have a friend who has been a life long activist in the union movement. He has a brother-in-law living there and has related horror stories of his visits. It’s not an area of our mutual state that I hang out in much, only drive through.

  9. helen fall:

    We all did, and that’s the point. When I was a kid in the ’50s, I had a Roy Rogers-endorsed holster with twin revolvers and bullets around the belt. When I saddled up with my Hopalong Cassidy lunch box in my saddle bag, nobody messed with me. My mother the R.N., however, did put her foot down whenever I spoke the phrase “Daisy air rifle.”

  10. my sons and a lot of kids played this way all of the time when they were young. this is ridiculous. they used sticks or fingers as make believe guns

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