Over the years, schools in Virginia and throughout the U.S. have focused on making schools safer for students and teachers, and for good reason. However, there may be times when students’ actions are taken out of context or not handled appropriately by school officials.
Earlier this month, a second-grader was suspended for two days from his school in Virginia because he was accused of violating the school’s “zero tolerance policy” regarding weapons. However the student did not bring a weapon to school. The student was caught pointing a pencil at another student. A spokesperson for the school said the student was making “gun-like noises” while pointing the pencil at a classmate.
Although the incident may have caused other students to be a bit frightened, some parents are questioning whether school officials blew the incident out of proportion. And if the school did overreact, how many other incidents are blown out of proportion or taken out of context every year, resulting in serious charges against juveniles for allegedly committing school-related crimes and other offenses?
According to reports, the incident occurred on May 3 at an elementary school in Suffolk. The second-grader and a classmate were allegedly pretending to be a Marine and a “bad guy,” pointing pencils at each other and pretending the pencils were guns. A spokesperson for the school claimed that the incident violated the school’s policies because “gun noises” were made and because the pencils had been pointed in a “threatening way.”
Violence is nothing to joke about; however, the teacher who noticed the incident did report that the students stopped pointing pencils at each other when the teacher asked them to stop. At least one of the second-graders was suspended for the incident.
Although the incident did not result in criminal charges, the incident is an example of how quickly teens’ actions may be taken out of context. When teens are accused of committing juvenile crimes, they may benefit greatly from working with an experienced defense attorney who will protect their rights and future as best as possible. In some situations, an attorney may help juveniles avoid having a conviction on their record; in other situations, an attorney may help to mitigate the consequences of a conviction.
Source: UPI.com, “Second-grader suspended for holding pencil like a gun,” May 7, 2013