A five-year-old girl was suspended from school when officials found that the kindergartner had brought a toy bubble gun with her. Officials told the girl’s mother that the toy was not only a “classroom distraction,” but also presented a safety concern.
Not surprisingly, the child’s mother was shocked to receive the call from Southeast Elementary School in Brighton, Colorado, notifying her of the toy bubble gun, and asking her to come and get her daughter.
The toy gun emits bubbles – which are explained by Robin Koontz in an article entitled “The Science Behind Bubbles”:
“A bubble is just air wrapped in soap film. Soap film is made from soap and water (or other liquid). The outside and inside surfaces of a bubble consist of soap molecules. A thin layer of water lies between the two layers of soap molecules, sort of like a water sandwich with soap molecules for bread. They work together to hold air inside.”
As innocuous as bubbles appear to be, school officials believed that the toy bubble gun presented enough of a safety concern, that the only way to insure the safety of other students was to suspend the young girl and have someone promptly come and remove the child perpetrator from campus grounds – along with the bubble-emitting object.
The school released this statement, pointing out that their disciplinary actions were consistent with their policies:
“While we hear and understand the parents of this student being concerned about this discipline in light of the student’s age and type of item, this suspension is consistent with our district policy as well as how Southeast has handled similar situations throughout this school year. This has involved similar situations where students have brought items such as Nerf guns to school and also received one-day suspensions. The bringing of weapons, real or facsimile, to our schools by students can not only create a potential safety concern but also cause a distraction for our students in the learning process. Our schools, particularly Southeast because of past instances with students bringing fake weapons to school, make a point of asking parents to be partners in making sure students are not bringing these items to school. This includes asking parents to check backpacks.”
The mother said that she would not have allowed her daughter to take a toy bubble gun to school. She said that her daughter must have sneaked in the plastic object without her knowing. Now, the mother is concerned about her record: “What bugs me is this is going to be something they can refer to if we have any issues in the future which I don’t foresee, but it’s always going to be lingering there in her school file,” she said.