Fifth-grader Nathan Entingh was suspended last week after he pointed his fingers in the shape of a gun and pretended to shoot a fellow classmate at the Devonshire Alternative Elementary School in Columbus, Ohio.
“I was just playing around,” Entingh told The Columbus Dispatch. “People play around like this a lot at my school.”
Entingh, who was suspended for three days for a “level 2 lookalike firearm," says other students have done the same thing, but weren’t suspended (video below).
School district spokesman Jeff Warner claims that students have been warned against imaginary gunplay with their fingers numerous times.
Warner claimed that Entingh put his “lookalike firearm” (his finger) to another student’s head and pretended to shoot “kind of execution style.”
“The kids were told, ‘If you don’t stop doing this type of stuff, there would be consequences,’” added Warner. “It’s just been escalating.”
However, Entingh's father Paul defended his son: “He said he was playing. It would even make more sense maybe if he brought a plastic gun that looked like a real gun or something, but it was his finger.”
The "zero-tolerance policy" for Ohio schools began after the 1999 Columbine shootings in Colorado that killed 12 students and one teacher. But that tragic incident involved real guns, not fingers and imaginary guns.
According toTime, State Senator Charleta Tavares (D) has proposed a bill to remove zero-tolerance polices in Ohio schools because of unfair punishments.