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Boys Suspended for Holding Pencils Like Guns

By Todd Starnes

A seven-year-old Virginia boy was suspended from school after he pointed a pencil and made gun noises while playing with another student.

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Second grader Christopher Marshall and a classmate were suspended for two days from Driver Elementary School in Suffolk, Va.

“When I asked him about it, he said, ‘Well I was being a Marine and the other guy was being a bad guy,” said Paul Marshall, the boy’s father. “It’s as simple as that.

Marshall, who is a Marine Veteran, told television station WAVY that he believes the school is overreacting. He said his son has good grades and is well-behaved. He also pointed out that when the teacher told the boys to stop – they did.

Boy who held pencil like gun suspended

“Enough is enough,” Marshall told the television station. “I see it as the tail is now wagging the dog.

Bethanne Bradshaw, a spokesperson for Suffolk Public Schools, told Fox News that both seven-year-olds were suspended for two days as a result of the May 3 incident. She said the district has a “no-tolerance” policy when it comes to weapons.

“It’s an effort to try to get kids not to bring any form of violence, even if it’s violent play into the classroom,” she told Fox News. “That kind of play doesn’t have a place in an academic classroom.”

Marshall, who is a Marine Veteran, told television station WAVY that he believes the school is overreacting. He said his son has good grades and is well-behaved. He also pointed out that when the teacher told the boys to stop – they did.

“Enough is enough,” Marshall told the television station. “I see it as the tail is now wagging the dog.

Bradshaw said the district’s “no tolerance” policy has been in place for more than 15 years. But is a pencil really considered a weapon?

“A pencil is a weapon when it is pointed at someone in a threatening way and gun noises are made,” she told WAVY.

Marshall said the school system failed to use common sense – but the district is sticking by the punishment.

“Kids don’t think about ‘Cowboys and Indians’ anymore,” she said. “They think about drive-by shootings and murders and everything they see on television news every day.

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