Monday, April 27, 2009

Fourth graders suspended because of slingshots

Five fourth graders in Pennsylvania were suspended for having weapons at school after they made slingshots out of pencils, rubber bands and paper clips.

This was not a weapon to them. This was a toy," said Melanie Chelko. Chelko is the parent of one of the suspended students.

“Everyone uses pencils while in school, but you would never think someone would use them to create a weapon, but that's exactly how the district sees it," said principal Kathi Shirey.

Shirey said the accused students bound two pencils together with tape and tied rubber bands around them to make their own sling shots and used them with paper clips, hitting a teacher and three other students.

"It’s an object that could have caused serious injury," Shirey said.“They were seeing who could flip the paper clip the furthest. They weren't maliciously using it,” Chelko said.

Shirey said the boys faced expulsion for a year, but considering their age, she said the district decided to be lenient. It suspended the students for a day and took away one of their scheduled field trips.

“We took a lot of time to come to that decision and we really felt it was appropriate," Shirey said.

Seems harsh to me. A weapons charge? Really? What's next, expelling kids for paper balls?

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