Mom Furious As School Suspends 5-Year-Old Daughter For Pretending To Use Stick As Gun While Playing
A North Carolina school suspended a 5-year-old girl for pretending to use a stick as a gun. Caitlin Miller imagined she was a palace guard protecting the queen while she played "King and Queens" with friends. Her suspension made her mom furious at the school.
One of Miller's playmates apparently told a teacher the 5-year-old threatened her when she made a shooting motion to "kill" the other students, as per Huffington Post. The teacher took Miller out of the game.
Miller's parents then received a letter advising them of the incident when the child went home. The letter stated the 5-year-old need not attend school the next day.
Hoke County Schools cited the kindergarten student violated section 4331 of their policy. "Hoke County Schools will not tolerate assaults, threats or harassment from any student," the school's statement read, as per ABC 11. "Any student engaging in such behavior will be removed from the classroom or school environment for as long as is necessary to provide a safe and orderly environment for learning."
The child's mom, Brandy Miller, told Reuters Hoke County school district officials mishandled the situation. She believed the school took her daughter's pretend play out of context when the 5-year-old seemed to show no worries about pointing a pretend gun.
"You can be five and have an imagination," the mom said. "My daughter understands the importance of gun safety. She understands the stick is not a real weapon," the mom told Todd Starnes, adding they are a military family and her husband is an infantryman.
The mom said she understood the school's policy but explaining this to a kindergartener was a different matter. The incident isolated the 5-year-old from her friends.
Hoke County School Superintendent Freddie Williamson knew of the incident. Miller's mom expected an apology but the school said it stood by its decision.