A 9-year-old boy was suspended from the Creative Montessori Academy in Southgate, Detroit Thursday, after a teacher accused him of pretending his toy was a gun.
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According to a teacher, Gage allegedly pointed his toy, a spinning top machine, at a fellow classmate before school hours and said “bang, bang.” Two of Gage’s friends who were present during the incident deny the teacher’s claim saying Gage never even used the word “bang.” Gage explained that he had simply tapped his friend on the shoulder with the toy to get his attention so he could also play.
“He asked if he could see the toy and then he started talking when I was about to give it to him and I went like this,” Gage said as he tapped the toy on his father’s shoulder.
Gage’s father was taken by surprise after learning about his son’s suspension and the school’s telephone call to his wife, also pointing out the over-the-top reaction to the incident.
“They’re kids… they have imaginations and I don’t see any reason like…it doesn’t even look like a gun,” said Gage’s father to My Fox Detroit.
Gage’s parents say he has always been a good student and has never been in trouble before Thursday’s incident. His parents are now worried that he will miss out on classes that are important to his learning, especially given Gage’s epilepsy.
Unfortunately for Gage and young children across the country, actions that were once considered simple childhood fun are slowly become punishable crimes.
Despite a 70 percent drop in gun crime since 1993 according to U.S. Justice Department statistics, a media-induced hysteria has led to a near ban on normal childhood behavior.
Just last March, a 6-year-old student from Washington state was temporarily suspended for talking about a Nerf gun he had at home because others reportedly found the conversation “threatening.”
A 7-year-old student in Maryland was suspended after chewing his “Pop Tart” breakfast pastry into the shape of a gun last March as well.
Two 6-year-old students in Maryland were suspended last January for making gun gestures with their hands while playing “cops and robbers.” The school claimed the boys’ game was a threat to other students.
That same month a 5-year-old girl in Pennsylvania was suspended for simply talking about her “Hello Kitty” toy bubble gun during the bus ride home. According to the school, her actions constituted a “terroristic threat.”