Jump to content

Menu

Pretend bows-and-arrows and a kinder society


SKL
 Share

Recommended Posts

So a 6yo was suspended for 3 days for pretending to shoot a bow and arrow.

 

Help me to confirm my understanding of this mindset.  The goal is to build a kinder society.  The way we model this is to tell children exactly how they are to behave (even at play time), and if they step over the line, we kick them out of their main community (school, where most kids get most of their social time during the school week).  Kick them out and keep them away from their friends and teachers for 3 days.  And then they can return, but only so long as they conform to the demands of the leaders.  Demands that go way beyond "don't hurt others, don't disrupt the class," the requirements necessary for reasonable safety and age-appropriate order.

 

I have a disconnect in my brain.  I don't get how this makes society kinder.  What am I missing?

  • Like 12
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Did she "threaten" the other children with her pretend bow and arrow? Did the children complain? Did the teacher/recess (if at recess) person warn her to stop?

 

Honestly, it is so excessive and stupid, IMO. What if she was pretending to be Robin Hood or Katniss or some other brave, kind person?

 

And out of school suspension is extra stupid, esp for a 6 year old.

 

SMH

 

Sorry you have to deal with this.

  • Like 6
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think that's ridiculous.

 

I recently read "Why Gender Matters" and it was really eye-opening. The author was very big on boys needing a physical outlet and being able to play rough and that it was important for their development. He says that studies show that juvenile primates who don't engage in that aggressive play become very unchecked aggressive adults. The author was big believer in sports to get that energy out.

 

I don't know if bows and arrows fall into that category as beneficial to their development, but I think as a society we need to understand that a certain degree of rough and tumble play is necessary for boys. My kids have bows and foam arrows and nerf guns and they love it. The only thing I don't like are swords because they actually hit each other hard with those.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Did she "threaten" the other children with her pretend bow and arrow? Did the children complain? Did the teacher/recess (if at recess) person warn her to stop?

 

Honestly, it is so excessive and stupid, IMO. What if she was pretending to be Robin Hood or Katniss or some other brave, kind person?

 

And out of school suspension is extra stupid, esp for a 6 year old.

 

SMH

 

Sorry you have to deal with this.

Wait, it was a girl? Still doesn't change my opinion though. Pretending to shoot a bow and arrow is normal for kids.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Did she "threaten" the other children with her pretend bow and arrow? Did the children complain? Did the teacher/recess (if at recess) person warn her to stop?

 

Honestly, it is so excessive and stupid, IMO. What if she was pretending to be Robin Hood or Katniss or some other brave, kind person?

 

And out of school suspension is extra stupid, esp for a 6 year old.

 

SMH

 

Sorry you have to deal with this.

 

It's not me, it was in the news.

 

The principal says pretend "violence" of any kind will result in out-of-school suspension.  I think the 6yo was pretending to be some sort of kid movie hero (or herioine) that uses a bow & arrow.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have a daughter who needs physical outlets too.

 

I can't imagine teachers trying to police this kind of rule.

 

Lucky for me, my kids go to a school that tends toward more traditional ideas.  Which, in many cases nowadays, means more permissive.  (Oddly enough.)

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I am very, very skeptical the whole story was "kid pretends to shoot an arrow and was suspended". 

 

I see kindergarten kids play ninja every day. With pretend swords. It is common, typical, age appropriate behavior, as every early childhood educator knows.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

This does not surprise me at all.  It's pretty common wherever they have taken a "Zero tolerance to violence" approach.

 

At the school here, you can't shoot another kid with a finger gun.

 

There is no reason to think it is in any way effective in producing kinder kids either.

  • Like 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

This whole concept drives me bat poop crazy.

My boys don't understand why I won't let them take their bright green (empty) water guns to the park.  I was paranoid about where my daughter took her bright orange plastic pistol for her Halloween costume (because I sure as heck couldn't get her a non-neon one!)  A few years ago, I had to lean on our community board to specify that suction cup arrows will not be ticketed under the "projectiles" rule.

 

I'm not consumed with a fear of weapons, but I do fear social consequences over obviously fake weapons just as much as I fear irresponsible use of real ones.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Unless students were complaining that they actually felt threatened by this child, it is a ridiculous response to free play at recess. 

 

If the school is serious about stopping all play like this, they should just cancel recess. They should have an organized play time in which all children sign up for a specific game to play led by a teacher instead. That would be dreadful, but giving children free play to freely create their own games might result in games where "good guys" and "bad guys" are present and that would just go down the wrong path as far as this principal is concerned., 

 

Why didn't the principal take any intermediate steps, like talk to the boy about oppressive playground rules, before suspension. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The principal said, "I have no tolerance for any real, pretend, or imitated violence." I agree with his stance. As a parent, I don't allow pretend killing, just like I don't allow pretend stealing. I would expect the same type of policy at a school whose website states that they "strive to be a model of a Christian Community in today’s world [and] make a daily effort to live the gospel message in word, attitude and action." My daughter understands that other kids play in different ways and that's up to their parents. However, a school (especially a private one) has the right to set its own standards.

 

That said, the punishment was ridiculous. They should have told the kid that they don't allow pretend killing and had him sit out recess if he didn't stop. 

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

School officials are not commenting so we really do not have the whole story.

 

I do feel sorry for the child involved but I am not convinced that a media campaign created by the parents is needed.

 

 

If the facts are as they are presented and this punishment is a ridiculous over reaction, how will change be affected without telling other people what is happening. 

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Of course this is just one example of a concerning trend.  I just feel there is a greater and greater gap between what schools [supposedly] seek to inculcate and the logical results of the punishment.  Exclusion of people who think out of the box is not kind.

 

If you want to encourage kids to act kindly and gently toward each other, then you give them practice doing that.  You don't model excluding others in order to bully them into shape.

  • Like 11
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I wonder if they also believe their students should never aspire to join the military or the police force.

 

That's a good question. If they were, say, a Mennonite school, the answer would almost certainly be yes. I know I would strongly discourage my child from joining either.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I will add that my DD went to a Mennonite school for pre-school through 1st grade (and it was fabulous, BTW.)  The children were taught to love Jesus and love each other; the spiritual training was wonderful and very effective.  HOWEVER, boys were given grace to be boys on the playground and, when things crossed the line into aggression, they were taken aside, talked to, and gently redirected.  The private school in question certainly has the right to devise and impose whatever disciplinary program they choose.  We have the right to mock their stupid choice.

  • Like 9
Link to comment
Share on other sites

In my area, any weapon or a mock weapon inside the school is disallowed (both PS and private schools). This also includes scabbards for swords in the costumes, foam nunchucks for ninjas, light sabres for star wars characters etc. Anybody breaking those rules will be suspended.

 

In my DS's school, there were several advance notices that no manner of weapons (or accessories of weapons) would be allowed during the Halloween parade. There was a girl Robin Hood with a bow and arrow that she cut out of scrap cardboard (I could see the sharpie marks where she had cut imperfectly) - it could not have worked as a weapon even if she tried - and they confiscated it. Funnily enough, all the Harry Potters seemed to have a small wand in their hand - not sure why that is not considered a weapon-like object.

 

I personally have no problem with the rule - because the rule is very well known and there are frequent reminders and advance notices about it before Halloween. And anyway, my son does a lot of pretend play and none of it involves stabbing, shooting, killing etc.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It seems an awfully difficult line to toe if you're a 6yo.

 

My daughter loves active and pretend play and suffers not at all from that kind of restriction. It's really not complicated. We don't pretend to kill. Easy peasy. :) 

 

I understand that students might have more trouble if they're used to that type of play at home, but kids learn rules quickly. It's a good issue for them to think about, and branching into other types of play is, in my opinion, a healthy thing.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My middle daughter was competitive archer for several years.  She actually fired a bow and arrow on a regular basis and was never once violent.  Hysterical people are in charge of school children.  God, help us!

 

When I called to make an appointment for my daughter to have photos taken at a local studio where they regularly photograph kids with sports equipment I was told she couldn't enter the building with her bow and arrow.  It was considered a weapon and there were no weapons allowed. I asked if baseball bats were allowed.  Of course they were.   Then I asked the employee if she was aware that baseball bats were one of the most commonly used murder weapons after guns and knives.  She said she'd have to talk to her manager. They called back and said they wouldn't allow her bow and arrows in the building.  I went to JCPenny's studio instead because when I called them they said they had no problem photographing her with them.

  • Like 19
Link to comment
Share on other sites

RIght, my kid allegedly punched a friend on the playground when she was 6yo.  There was no official disciplinary action.  I wasn't even told about it until some time later.  (At which time I was duly horrified.)  My kids go to a Christian school, and their teacher was the pastor's wife.  I guarantee nobody there thinks punching is appropriate behavior, but they were able to handle it without suspending the kid.  And the behavior did not ever recur with my kid.  Amazing.

  • Like 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

If it was a continued occurrence with threatening other students and if it had been addressed multiple times, then I understand the suspension. If it happened one time, then this was overkill. 

We have boys at recess who have played zombies and/or zombie hunters. They shoot at pretend targets. Doesn't bother me at all, but we do have the rule that they aren't allowed to shoot at each other.
We live in a rural community and we have a LOT of hunters; so it's a normal thing for my students. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm not at all skeptical that that's all that happened. There have been many similar incidents because of zero-tolerance policies.

I've read lots of hysterical headlines . Doesn't mean much to me. There is and always has been, for my whole life , an undercurrent of disdain for school policies , the dumbing down of society and 'kids these days'. Made for good click bait headlines

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I can't get the article to load, but the heading says it's a private Catholic school. Combine that with the quote from the principal, above, and I suspect that it may have been a documented rule. I think the suspension may be overdone, but the OP is consistently adamant in multiple threads about " not knowing the full story", so perhaps there's a valid reason. Again, my phone is not loading the links...maybe the kid is a 6 year old thug-ess who spends her free time aggravating her classmates with pretend violence😜

Yes, it's a private school, not public. It was a boy, playing either power rangers or ninja turtles (or are they the same thing?) and he pretended to shoot another classmate. That's the substance of what we've been told, other than that they won't comment on discipline of a minor. There's probably more to the story.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The question in my mind is, does suspension serve a purpose.  If other children were being harmed or actually feared being harmed and the school had exhausted reasonable in-school discipline options, I could understand a suspension.  The purpose of the suspension would be to protect the other children while making sure the parents were aware of how serious this situation was.  However, based on the excerpt from the letter the principal sent out after the incident, it sounds like the threshold for suspension is way lower than it should be.

 

I do realize we may not know the whole story, and maybe we never will.  But I don't see how one could support a policy that suspends a child for every instance of "imitated violence."

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm not surprised. A few years ago at the school my grandsons will eventually attend, a boy was suspended for pretending his finger was a gun.

 

I agree with the mother of finger-gun boy that an essay and apology would have been more appropriate. Suspension from school used to only be given for very serious offences or after other interventions failed. Now it seems to be the first line of punishment in this age of zero tolerance*.

 

*Some things certainly do warrant zero tolerance, but many that have that designation do not, IMO.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Again, it's a private school that can set their own standards. Also, there is not merely one Christian view concerning pretend-violence play. Why are you not advocating to hear the school's full version of this?

I worked at a Montessori school that let each teacher set rules of play. One did not allow any pretend violence at all. She still was very popular among parents. They were able to understand that it was her class, her rules.

 

But public schools have done the same thing.  This is just the latest incident I've heard of.

 

I would love to hear the school's version.  The parents are waiting for a letter explaining the suspension.  Sounds like they will be willing to share it if this is still a news story at that point.  However, I think we know enough to have a general discussion about suspending 6yo kids for not hurting anyone.

 

My kids at 4yo also had a daycare teacher who sent me a horrified note about my kids doing the finger-gun thing.  (They learned it from a classmate, but whatever.)  I thought it was silly, but yeah, her class, her rules.  However, here we are talking about excluding a child for 3 days because of relatively mild behavior.  Not comparable at all.  If your Montessori school was kicking kids out for finger-gun play, then I would have a problem with that too.

 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

And I'm really not talking about this individual child.  I'm trying to get at whether policy should allow suspensions of children for minor offenses, in order to promote a kinder society.

They can't control the mindset of people. They can't control the imagination.

A person who doesn't pretend to shoot a bow and arrow or doesn't pretend to shoot with a gun is still capable of imagining shooting someone or murdering someone or whatever. Pretending an action doesn't precede a actual deed. 

 

Taking away pretend games doesn't cause them to suddenly become nicer. Unfortunately, people are going to do what people are going to do. Utopian societies just don't exist. If they're trying to create that, we may as well resort to The Minority Report. 

 

So, my opinion, suspending to promote a kinder society is an exercise in futility. 

 

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

My nephew was suspended for 6 months for not hurting anyone with a non-weapon.  That was at a public school.  He had no history of violence and was being bullied and had a black eye from the incident.  But yeah.  I think things have gone way too far.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My nephew was suspended for 6 months for not hurting anyone with a non-weapon. That was at a public school. He had no history of violence and was being bullied and had a black eye from the incident. But yeah. I think things have gone way too far.

Six months! I have never heard of such a thing! How old was he when this happened?
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Six months! I have never heard of such a thing! How old was he when this happened?

 

He was 14.

 

His parents hired a lawyer and appealed it and got it reduced to some weeks.

 

The whole story (summarized of course) is that a bully purposely busted up his science fair project, and he pushed back physically.  (Again, this was his first offense of getting physical ever.)  He had a small piece of rubber (thin wire insulation) in his hand because he had just cut it off a wire as part of making his science fair project.  Because he had the rubber in his hand when he pushed back, it was a "weapon" and zero tolerance kicked in.  The other boy (who blackened my nephew's eye) (and who was a repeat violent offender) got only a 3-day suspension, because he didn't have anything in his hands at the time.

 

My nephew's parents agreed that he had done wrong and deserved punishment.  But they argued that there was no "weapon."

 

If the 6-month suspension had stuck, he would been kicked out of the IB program he was to begin the following fall.  A very big consequence for an intellectually gifted kid in a failing school district.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

That's a good question. If they were, say, a Mennonite school, the answer would almost certainly be yes. I know I would strongly discourage my child from joining either.

 

Interesting.  I wonder why?

 

I would have no problem with my child becoming a police officer, especially since the kid who wants to is extremely compassionate and not power hungry or egotistical in any way. He would be  a great caring police officer.  

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ok just read the linked article. It was an interview with the parent .... No other party. Skepticism intact.

 

There was nothing melodramatic about any of the headlines I've seen. The parent seemed pretty rational to me and even praised the principal. I suppose I'm just getting sucked into the media's supposed "hysteria." 

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Interesting.  I wonder why?

 

I would have no problem with my child becoming a police officer, especially since the kid who wants to is extremely compassionate and not power hungry in any way. He would be  a great caring police officer.  

 

Yeah, one of my kids has said she wants to be a police officer.  She is a very peaceful, mellow person.  Her sister, however, is against it because it is not a very safe occupation.

 

I understand there are religious reasons why some people opt out.  I think the school in this case is Catholic.  And I think it is fine if they don't want kids playing mock violent superhero games, and they can try to teach that.  But a suspension doesn't seem to be the way to do it IMO.

 

  • Like 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I understand there are religious reasons why some people opt out.  I think the school in this case is Catholic.  And I think it is fine if they don't want kids playing mock violent superhero games, and they can try to teach that.  But a suspension doesn't seem to be the way to do it IMO.

 

 

:iagree:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...