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Second-grader's suspension for throwing an imaginary grenade raises ire locally, nationally

Categories: Education, News

mary blair elementary.jpg
Mary Blair Elementary in Loveland.
"I think the district would do themselves a huge favor if they would simply state the truth of what happened and admit they mishandled it: 'Here's what we did wrong, and here's how we can move forward,'" Rumfelt allows. "But instead, they just seem to be digging their hole deeper."

Granted, Rumfelt isn't exactly an objective observer when it comes to the Thompson School District. Liberty Watch has been circulating a petition calling for greater transparency by the organization. The document, on view below, has collected around 100 signatures online and more than 200 more on hard copies, she says.

As for the suspension, she feels it's focused attention on "what's wrong with zero-tolerance policies. They don't allow kids to be kids, and they make it difficult for teachers. They're supposed to be encouraging kids to do critical thinking, to use their imagination, to learn how to be creative and innovative. But then you have these policies that really run counter to that. How can you have all of these things happening when you have a zero-tolerance policy that tells you what you can and can't pretend?"

Liberty Watch intends to keep the heat on the school district via a call to make the petition part of the next school board meeting, scheduled for February 20.

Until then, Rumfelt thinks the district needs to acknowledge mistakes when it comes to Alex Evans.

"If honesty is really the best policy, why not model that to the students?" she asks. "Why not come clean and say, 'Hey, we messed this up,' and then fix it?"

Here's the report about Alex from a TV station from Alabama, as shared by the Reporter-Herald; we subsequently learned it's a re-broadcast of the Fox31 piece. Also on view is the text of the petition, whose online home can be accessed by clicking here.

Liberty Watch petition:

Transparency in Education

Partners in Excellence: Students, Parents, Teachers & Community

Our children are the future of America and are the greatest asset of every community and we have an obligation to create an educational system that is Student Centered which utilizes all resources in a manner that promotes Educational Excellence and opportunities for our Children.

Budget and labor negotiations that are open will foster trust and create a better partnership amongst all stakeholders and accountability comes from an open process which is in the best interest of our students; our Children.

Sign the petition and support Students and Teachers with an open and accountable school district.

We therefore Petition the Thompson School District and the Board of Education, to place the requested policy changes below on the agenda for the February 20, 2013 business meeting for the district and Board to adopt as policy.

• The Thompson School District shall not collect or participate in the collection of, dues or fees of any kind from its employees for, or on behalf of, any labor union or labor union affiliated organization or any labor association.

• The Thompson School District shall not use any taxpayer funds to pay, directly or indirectly, any salary, wage, fringe benefits or other compensation of any kind whatsoever (whether or not such payments are reimbursed to the District) to any person for the purpose of such person serving, on either a full or part-time basis, as an office, director, employee, representative, or agent of a labor union, labor union-affiliated organization or labor association.

• The Thompson School District shall have an open and transparent process for negotiating with labor unions, labor-affiliated organizations or labor associations which allows all stakeholders to observe and understand the details of any and all contracts and memorandums of understanding that pertain to any of the aforementioned labor type organizations.

• The Thompson School District shall have an open and transparent budgeting process which provides for all stakeholders of the community an opportunity to review, submit questions or object to the annual proposed budget and to receive a response (s) at any time prior to the adoption of the annual budget as required by Colorado Revised Statues 22-44-110.

More from our News archive: "Eight-year-old pepper sprayed by cops: Officers made 'great' choice, says police spokesman."



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22 comments
Stephen Dalton
Stephen Dalton

What if he was pretending to drive a car, Would he have been arrested for driving without a license?? smh

Cognitive_Dissident
Cognitive_Dissident topcommenter

The state is paranoid of its people. I'll take it as a sign of its end times.

Testecleese
Testecleese

Interesting that the kid is some 7-8 years old and we've been at war for the entirety of his life, yet he's being suspended for throwing an imaginary grenade? That's just pitiful.

Shane Kennedy
Shane Kennedy

If you make all laws to the lowest common denominator of our society out dosnt make our society safer it just makes the rest of the world think we are stupid as a society

Lavonne Gonzales
Lavonne Gonzales

I honestly thought this was an Onion headline for a second. Sadly, it wasn't.

No Snakes
No Snakes

You know, Columbine was sad.  Sandy Hook was sad.  Bad things happen and I don't want us to get into a crap session about gun control...

With that said, I think it is SADDER that because of these shootings, people have chosen to OVER react.  Children are SUPPOSED to play army, and cops and robbers, and alien invaders and human defenders.  That's how children develop their imaginations and creativity.  Granted, those aren't the ONLY ways the develop creativity, but they are still healthy.  There is nothing wrong with that.

What is HORRIBLY WRONG is when adults make these CHILDREN feel like CRIMINALS for pointing a finger and saying "BANG-BANG," or tossing an imaginary hand grenade, or for kissing a classmate on the cheek.  None of these activities mean the child will be a mass murderer, or a rapist, so school administrators should not make the child feel like one.

An 8 year old kissing a classmate on the cheek is not "Sexual Harassment," it's an innocent child saying "I like you."  Maybe appropriate... maybe not, but there are better ways to handle it that calling the cops, throwing the child in handcuffs, and having them register as a Sex Offender.

Please, a little perspective from the "Educated?"

Wayne Lee DeNucci
Wayne Lee DeNucci

Im so glad i was a kid when i was a kid...Brady bunch days !

weldcountysucks
weldcountysucks

SAD DAY IN AMERICA WHEN WE PUNISH OUR KIDS FOR HAVING AN IMAGINATION...

weldcountysucks
weldcountysucks

@BackOffImStarving I said the exact same shit it may not be a real word but america is becoming wussified next they wont be able to play tag oh yea sum schools have even banned that.If you didnt have an imagination when you were young you were considered weird and usually a loner and last time I checked most people who commit these shootings are weird loners.

Casey Kratzer
Casey Kratzer

Its a sad day in america when our kids get punished for having an imagination next they wont be able to play tag oh wait sum schools have already banned that too...

Sarah Black
Sarah Black

Are you kidding me? So maybe if we punish kids for playing with imaginary friends we will have less mentally disturbed too. Because you know we all ended up so disturbed from our traumatic childhood filled with playing outside, getting hurt, and not being picked to be part of the team. If you don't let kids be kids and learn on their own they are more likely to become a societal hazard in some way.

Nicki Swearingen
Nicki Swearingen

Yeah because pretending to be a be soldier and throwing imaginary grenades is a real threat to society.*sarcasm*

Chris Estus
Chris Estus

If it saves one life it is worth it!

BackOffImStarving
BackOffImStarving topcommenter

Interesting.  We used to play army games on the playground with imaginary weapons.  Nobody got expelled or arrested.  Nobody wound up shooting up schools or workplaces later on, either.

michael.roberts
michael.roberts moderator editortopcommenter

@Stephen Dalton Funny, Stephen. Thanks for the post.

michael.roberts
michael.roberts moderator editortopcommenter

@No Snakes Very interesting post, No Snakes. We're going to make it an upcoming Comment of the Day. Thanks.

michael.roberts
michael.roberts moderator editortopcommenter

@Wayne DeNucci Of course, Marcia getting hit by that football was pretty brutal. Thanks for the post, Wayne.

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