Johnny Jones, 10, was reportedly suspended from South Eastern Middle School in Fawn Grove, Pa. for “shooting” an imaginary arrow at a classmate.
The Rutherford Institute, which is defending Jones, claims the fifth grader was told he violated the school’s zero tolerance policy on weapons when he drew back the strings of an imaginary bow and “shot” an imaginary arrow at a buddy.
That’s when an unidentified girl in the class told the teacher, who referred the incident to the principal, claiming that “firearms” had been involved.
Jones was allegedly suspended for one day and threatened with expulsion for “making a threat” to another student using a “replica or representation of a firearm."
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The Rutherford Institute sent a letter to the school on Dec. 4, which states in part: “We request that you rescind the suspension and immediately remove all reference to it from Johnny’s permanent school record.”
“There is no reason that Johnny should be stigmatized and branded a miscreant due to the school’s unreasonable application of its zero tolerance policy against him,” states the letter.
Rutherford Institute President John W. Whitehead claims the school’s response is an effort to “criminalize childish behavior and punish all offenses severely, no matter how minor or non-threatening the so-called infraction may have been.”
“We all want to keep the schools safe, but I’d far prefer to see something credible done about actual threats, rather than this ongoing, senseless targeting of imaginary horseplay,” said Whitehead.
According CNSNews.com, the Rutherford Institute has given Rona Kaufmann, Superintendent of the South Eastern School District, until Dec. 13, 2013 to respond to their letter.
There has not been a statement from the school or Kaufmann.