A 10 year-old boy in Ohio has been suspended from school for using a ‘Level II Look-Alike Firearm’ in school. His ‘firearm’ of choice is more accurately described as his ‘finger.’ Where gun control and zero tolerance collide, all kinds of crazy Orwellian shit goes down. A joke becomes a threat. And your finger becomes a firearm. Doublespeak much? . . .
Ten-year-old Nathan Entingh doesn’t understand why he got suspended from school for three days.
According to his father, Paul Entingh, one moment the boy was “goofing off” with his friends in fifth grade science class, and the next the teacher was taking him out of the classroom invoking Ohio’s zero-tolerance policy.
The offense? Nathan was “making his fingers look like a gun, having the thumb up and the pointed finger sticking out,” said Entingh, describing the February 26 incident.
“He was pointing it at a friend’s head and he said ‘boom.’ The kid didn’t see it. No other kids saw it. But the teacher saw it,” he said. “It wasn’t threatening. It wasn’t hostile. It was a 10-year-old kid playing.”
The next morning Paul Entingh escorted his son Nathan to the principal’s office, where they met with Devonshire Alternative Elementary School Principal Patricia Price.
“She said if it happened again the suspension would be longer, if not permanent,” said Entingh, who also received a letter explaining the reason for Nathan’s suspension as a “level 2 look alike firearm.”
The letter, which Entingh shared with CNN, read, “Nathan put his fingers up to another student’s head, simulating a gun, and said, ‘BOOM,’ “
Price’s office referred CNN’s call to Columbus City Schools spokesman, Jeff Warner.
Price “has been warning the students for some weeks,” said Warner. “We’ve had a problem at this school. The boys have gone around fake shooting and making paper guns at class. It’s inappropriate. She has sent notes to parents for the past three weeks alerting them of the problem.”
Entingh said he never received a notice, but was aware of school authorities telling students, including Nathan, that any gun-related behavior would have serious consequences.
“I don’t know if it’s to the point it happened so much they needed to punish somebody to set an example, I don’t know, it blows my mind,” said Entingh.
Warner acknowledged there was likely no ill-intention in Nathan’s actions, “I know he (Nathan) felt it was funny and in jest, but the teacher felt it was inappropriate given the warnings that were given.”
Appropriate? Any educator who can say that with a straight face needs strong psychotropic medication, stat, and is patently unfit to have any unsupervised contact with minors, let alone supervise their education. In Nathan’s school district, a dozen students were expelled last year for ‘lookalike firearm’ incidents, while none were expelled for harassment or intimidation. Care to explain that, Mr. Warner?