A first grader was suspended from school because he turned in a toy gun that he didn’t realize was in his backpack. Little Darin Samik left his regular school backpack in a friend’s car on Tuesday evening, so his mother grabbed another bag from his closet and used it as a substitute school book bag the following day. Neither mom nor child realized a small toy gun remained inside.
Darin Samik found the toy guy in his backpack during his day at Martin Elementary School. Instead of simply just tucking the plastic toy back deeply inside, the first grader decided to give it to his teacher since having it was against the rules. “I’m not a-sp’osed to have this,” the 7-year-old from the Pittsburgh area recalled telling his teacher. Instead of commending the child for adhering to the school policy about toy guns, the teacher marched Darin Samik to the principal’s office where he was issued a suspension.
Jennifer Mathabel, the first grader’s mother, decided the next morning that she would not comply with the toy gun suspension, and took her son to school. “I got a phone call from the principal at 9 am and she said, ‘Darin is not to be in school.’ I said, ‘I’m sending him to school because he is entitled to be in school and be educated,” Mathabel said.
The first grader who unknowingly took a toy gun to school was given an in-school suspension instead and was kept away from other children until his dad arrived at school to take him home. The school district superintendent told local WPXI-TV News that taking a toy gun to school violates policy at the “highest level” and “requires an immediate suspension” A meeting to discuss the district’s weapons policy violation and punishment is scheduled for today.
According to an Associated Press report, school policy calls for a suspension for an entire school year when caught with “replicas of weapons.” The same policy does permit the district superintendent to “modify the punishment” on a case-by-case basis.
“What kind of message are we sending to our kids? To tell the truth, yet you get in trouble for it and you get punished,” Darin Samik’s mother asked. The toy gun suspension is not the first such incident to spark outrage by parents and Second Amendment advocates. As previously reported by The Inquisitr, several boys were suspended after they were “caught” playing with air soft guns in a private yard near a school bus stop.
The ban on toy guns and other play “weapons” at public school across the country has evolved over the past decade or so. Those who feel that such rules go too far in the prevention of violence note that when many of us were children, toy weapons were common at recess and as Halloween costume accessories — and school shootings were not.
What do you think about the first grader getting suspended for turning in a toy gun?