Theresa's Mixed Nuts: Schools- Let’s Be Consistent On Anti Violence Policies!

Friday, March 29, 2013

Schools- Let’s Be Consistent On Anti Violence Policies!

We have all heard stories like the girl getting in trouble over her Hello Kitty Bubble Gun at school, or the deaf kid who’s name is a gun sign in sign language so the school kicked him out. Those stories are a bit over the top, and I think the administrators of those schools are complete idiots. However, with all of the violence at schools lately, I do back a lot of decisions that they make regarding the safety of our children. My nephew, who is 7, was overheard talking about his toy knives he likes to play with at home. Nothing violent, just normal first grader talk about toys he likes. The teacher sent him to the office, he had a lengthy conversation with the guidance councilor, and a phone call was sent home informing his parent that talk of knives, toy or otherwise, was not permitted at school. He was reminded at home not to talk about such things, and hasn’t since it happened a few months ago.

Friday the school set up a basketball tournament. The little cheerleaders, my niece included, all came out and did some song and dance numbers. During one routine, the little girls made their fingers in the shape of a gun, pointed their fingers at the audience and went “Bang Bang!” I am failing to see where this is ok to do at a school function, when my nephew got in trouble for talking about his toys he plays with at home?

little girl


The school was also selling balloon shape animals. One of the selections available for purchase ($3, which should be a crime charging that much for one of these) was a toy sword.





The little boys all bought the sword shapes and ran around pretending to stab each other. Again, I am failing to see where this is ok, but the toy knife talk was not?

Like I said, I am all for the policies in place to keep our children safe. I am ok with the fact that my nephew got in trouble for talking about knives. What I am not ok with is the mixed messages they are sending to the kids. If the school is making money off it, then it’s ok? If not, it’s against school policy? Is it too much to ask for a universal policy to be spread equally across the board that students and staff have to adhere to?

My husband thinks I should call the school and question this. I’m not big on making waves, but this hasn’t set well with me all week. What would you do?

18 comments:

  1. Yeah, there are some serious inconsistencies in the messages they're sending there. Also, with the sales and the dance routine, they're very nearly endorsing it!

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  2. My boys play with toy swords AT HOME, but it's shocking that they allowed balloon swords to be sold at a school function like that. I honestly don't think that they would have allowed that at my kids schools, but you never know I guess. And what's up with the girl making the gun motion?? That's far worse in my opinion than the balloon swords. Jeez.

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  3. I agree with you. Sounds like some double standards here. The school is probably making a lot of money selling those swords so they would turn their heads at it being a sword.

    Things have gotten way out of hand in all schools with this issue.

    I would probably call the local news media and let them get involved and leave you out of it. I bet you could go in, take your pictures to show the news and let them run with it.

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  4. First I think it is stupid to punish anyone for talking about toy knives, unless they were seriously saying they'd stab someone with it. But if they are going to punish that then they should be the same with everything.

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  5. Yes I am totally with you Theresa. These mixed messages are problematic. If they are confusing to us, just think how confusing they are to the kids!!

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  6. Schools are idiotic with their policies. I remember in 5th grade we had a end of the year party but we were told we couldn't call it a party. Causes are parties are bad.

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  7. It could be different people involved with the decisions (for instance the person in charge of the committee for the event w/the balloons never heard/knew of the toy knife talk incident). Bringing the inconsistencies to the attention of the principal, with the example of the counselor, the cheerleaders, and the swords could help in getting something into place that will make the new policies known to everyone (quite possibly no one has even seriously considered doing so as yet).

    I understand a 'zero tolerance' policy on violence, but I also think discernment should come into play with some incidences (like the ones you cited in the beginning of this post). Overreacting will not help, it will only add to the chaos and leave parents shaking their head and wondering where common sense has gone.

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    1. Great points Rosey! I didn't even think about the coordinators not being on the same page regarding policies set in place at school. I will definitely be bringing this to their attention so we can all get on the same page!

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  8. I agree with you, there's way too much violence surrounding our children. I even considered home schooling mine when the time comes but unfortunately the Romanian system doesn't allow it nor recognizing it.
    And there's also the issue of double standards from schools, they accept as violence whatever suits their interests. Sad.

    Have a happy week end, and a lovely Easter if you celebrate it.

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  9. I do want to say something..... everyone seems to think it is wrong to talk about knives and guns etc.... but when I was growing up, the boys all had a pocket knife in their pocket. There were never any problems.... ever. In fact if you needed something cut, you would just ask a boy if he would cut it with his pocket knife. For the life of me.... I can't figure out what went wrong.

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    1. I don't know what went wrong either Terry. We played with knives and toy guns growing up and never once felt fear for our own safety at school. Lack of parenting would be my guess?

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  10. I definitely think there is WAY too much overreacting now a days in regards to this type of stuff. It's very important to stay on top of it and make sure violence isn't tolerated, but at the same time, there's a difference between little boys pretending with toy guns, and REAL guns or swords. My brother and I always played good guy/bad guy growing up, with our fake guns and water guns. And yet now a days, no one wants them to even mention it for fear it'll turn into something else. The important thing is teaching kids to understand REAL and PRETEND. My kids know what's real and what's not...what's right and what's wrong. I completely agree that it needs to be consistent. Stick with one thing and go with that...don't punish one kid, while disregarding another incident that is similar. I don't know...I just find everything so over the top now a days, and it wasn't like that when we were younger...and most of us turned out fine lol.

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    1. I couldn't have said it better myself Brandi! Again, it comes down to proper parenting. Teaching your children right from wrong, and about human kindness and compassion.

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  11. Violence in schools has become a big problem around the world Theresa. In my schooldays certain things were unheard of. I agree with you that the message should be clear. Accepting certain things that portray violence while reprimanding certain things does not make sense.

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  12. I agree with Brandi Yee, people are now overreacting about such things. But maybe it is also due to recent happening like the shooting spree in CT and all. And indeed the message should be clear and consistent. Reading from your post I think the school is kind of lost somewhere. If it were my kid sent home because talking about their gun toys I would definitely come back to the school and demand full explanation, and tell them about the inconsistency in their policy against violence.

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  13. I don't get it either.

    Another small thing that I don't get at schools is that they can't have treats made and given out at school, but they ask for bake sales for school events to raise money.

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    1. LOL YES! The bake sales baffle me too! No homemade treats, but baked cookies are fine? Crazy!

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  14. That's pretty crazy. My son goes to a really rural school, and they aren't zero tolerance on obvious fake weapons. The kids get in trouble (but I'm talking minor trouble, like missing five minutes of recess) for pretending to hurt each other, but it's apparently not a problem at all for them to shoot at bad guys or karate chop them, etc, as long as the bad guys are invisible. I have a feeling my son is going to spend a lot of time in trouble if we get orders while he's still pretty young!

    Sometimes I roll my eyes and think that my son's school is certainly behind the times in some areas, but overall I like it. They are still allowed to be kids at his school, and do the same things that kids are allowed to do at home. Opening weekend of deer season is cause for closing schools here, so obviously guns are a big part of life.

    Oh, and someone else mentioned homemade treats. We are actually encouraged to bring homemade treats for our kids' birthdays, holiday parties, etc. :)

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Thanks for your comments! I appreciate every one of them :)

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