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5-Year-Old Faces Suspension Over Lego Gun

Lego gun may get child suspended

Guns are a hugely sensitive issue right now, but one has to wonder whether or not some school officials are going a bit overboard. One 5-year-old Massachusetts boy is facing suspension for building a Lego gun during an after school program.

MSN reports that 5-year-old Joseph Cardosa, part of the after school program at Hyannis West Elementary School on Cape Cod, was the subject of a letter to his parents a few days ago which said that he had received a written warning for using toys “inappropriately” and that, after a second warning, he might be suspended for two weeks.

Shelia Cruz and Octavio Cardosa, Joseph’s parents, think that the school is being a bit extreme on the issue.

“It’s not like he’s designing a machine gun,” said Cardosa.

“I can understand with all the things that are going on right now in schools, but on the other hand, kids are taught you know ‘here’s a squirt gun, this is fun,’ so this is fun to him, you know what I mean, he’s running around playing – a little bit of re-direction would have been enough,” said Cruz, Joseph’s mother.

Children being scolded, punished, or even suspended over a toy gun have become quite common in the weeks since the Sandy Hook Elementary School Massacre in Newtown, Connecticut, reports Fox 25. A reporter for the local Fox affiliate asked Needham Child Psychologist Dr. Larry Berkowitz how parents and schools can differentiate between a genuine threat and simple “child’s play.”

He said that some of the behavior is normal, considering the “violent diet” children are fed every day.

“Some of that’s normative to our culture,” said Berkowitz. “That’s what kids see: in video games, in movies, they see it on TV, they hear about guns in the news, so, yeah, some of this is about copying and some of it is about gaining a sense of mastery of power for kids, sometime. Again, we don’t know the specifics of any one situation and that’s what we want to understand with a given child: what was going on – these could be great opportunities, teachable moments to bring up these topics with our children.”

Hyannis West Elementary’s principal said “we need a safe enviornment for our students,” adding, “While someone might think that making a Lego gun is just an action of a 5-year-old, to other 5-year-olds, that might be a scary experience.”

What do you think? Should schools be cracking down on play violence, or are they overreacting in some cases?

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Comments

29 Responses to “5-Year-Old Faces Suspension Over Lego Gun”

  1. Brian Black

    Ironically, if Adam Lanza had run amok through Sandy Hook Elementary with a LEGO gun, this kid would not be in any trouble at all.

  2. Alan Mills

    Just like racism is taught, fear is also taught. Children are not afraid of Lego guns unless adults teach them to be afraid of them. Fortunately they can both be untaught. These are probably the same type people who think its a good idea to get rid of social studies. Welcome to Idiocracy.

  3. Paul J Boratko III

    I am having an extremely hard time believing that a 5 year old built that gun… If he did, his parent may want to contact The Lego Group, because they have a 5 year old with some serious future potential…

  4. Adam Heskin

    My BS alarm is going off. That's a pretty detailed gun for what any five year old would build out of legos.

  5. E.j. Beaucan

    I hope the actual creator of that LEGO model gets props where props are due.

  6. Paul J Boratko III

    @ E.J. You know….. this is another prime example of the Evil media at work… Using something from somewhere else completely unrelated to make a story about something that never was… If it wasn't for the media glorifying the madness, the madness wouldn't occur…

  7. Mariella Guzmeli

    Overreaction by the school officials. Suspending and threatening the child was wrong. He's only 5 and is still in the stage of using imaginary play and does not know any better. The prinicipal needed to explain/teach the child the reason why he is concerned over the gun this little boy built. Educators are supposed to educate and lead by example. The parents should have been contacted and the concerns should have been explained and with the lines of communication open. So that both the boys and the parents could explain and teach the child about what appropriate play means. Otherwise, suspension doesn't teach a 5 year old anything except that he can stay home that day. The big problem lies with these video games, movies, shows, videos, pictures, songs that children are exposed to that glorify violence. I too agree, that the picture of the lego on top seems too perfectly designed for a 5 year old to have created unless that child is truly gifted.

  8. George White

    Adam Heskin you obviously don't live in CT this is a true story and when I was 5 I could build things like that and my nephew who's around that age can also build stuff that detailed. And the only reason why this kid is getting in trouble is because of what happened to Sandy Hook all of the sudden we're trying to strike fear in America's eyes about guns. Where was all the fear with before this happened we all have to get over it its been over a month now and stop letting Adam Lanza win.

  9. George White

    And we can have to stop blaming TV video games music and all that kind of shit it has warnings on it learn how to control your kids with the shit. We all grew up in a world we saw that stuff on TV we all grew up fine without shooting everything up.

  10. George White

    And in Grand Theft Auto 3 you can get a prostitute in the game fucker on gun the game get out of the car pulled out of the car and beat the shit out of her where is everybody Karen about that poor woman on the side of the street just got the shit kicked out of her and Robbed

  11. Adam Heskin

    Hi George,

    I think you may have misunderstood my post. I deplore the school district for suspending a five year old for making a Lego gun. I was just questioning if this picture in the media was the actual lego gun he made because it is complete with slide action, the clip sticking out the bottom and the hammer cocked back, and most five year olds wouldn't be that detailed.

    I think they were trying to make it look worse than it really was.

  12. David Rose

    why is when we grew up playing cops a robbers or cowboys and indians was fun now it is a chrime no cap guns no water pistals not even a red rider lever action bye gun.

  13. Anonymous

    Really? come on! If that would have happened here in Idaho the teacher and principal would be ran out of the state!
    Move to Idaho the most gun friendly state.

  14. Anonymous

    Really? come on! If that would have happened here in Idaho the teacher and principal would be ran out of the state!
    Move to Idaho the most gun friendly state.

  15. Judi Ann Bennett Kernan

    There is NO way a 5 year old build this gun! I don't care how talent a kid he might be. I see a lawsuit building here…and if I were that Parent I would be right at the lawyer's door step with my blanket and pillow until they opened up.

  16. Judi Ann Bennett Kernan

    There is NO way a 5 year old build this gun! I don't care how talent a kid he might be. I see a lawsuit building here…and if I were that Parent I would be right at the lawyer's door step with my blanket and pillow until they opened up.

  17. Judi Ann Bennett Kernan

    Instead of giving us an expertly made item we need to see the actual one…and I am betting you are going to have to use your best imagination to even begin to call what he built a gun!

  18. Judi Ann Bennett Kernan

    Instead of giving us an expertly made item we need to see the actual one…and I am betting you are going to have to use your best imagination to even begin to call what he built a gun!

  19. Brendan Coenen

    here's an easier solution: quit making a mountain out of a molehill. if it's not a real gun, there's nothing to fear.