4th Graders' Game Of Army Vs. Aliens Violated School's Zer- Tolerance Policy
6:03 AM, May 14, 2002
Seven fourth graders in the Cherry Creek School District were given detention for a week after they were caught using their fingers as imaginary weapons, a newspaper reported Monday.
The incident took place March 25 at Dry Creek Elementary School, 7NEWS reported.
The boys were playing soldiers-versus-aliens during lunch when a playground monitor pulled them all aside and brought them to the principal's office because they displayed violent and aggressive behavior during the game, said Mary Terch, executive director of elementary education for Cherry Creek Schools.
Principal Darci Mickle said that what the boys did, even though it may have been horseplay, violated the school's zero tolerance policy.
She called all of their parents to pick them up early from school and gave them lunchtime detention for the week after they returned from spring break, the Times reported.
Did an elementary school go too far with its zero tolerance policy when it suspended fourth graders for using their fingers as imaginary weapons?Yes. The boys did nothing wrong. No. Zero tolerance means no tolerance for any type of violent behavior.I don't know. I wasn't there at the school so I don't know how they behaved.
The boys' parents said the incident is an example of
post-Columbine zero-tolerance run amok.
They are also furious that she asked the boys if their families kept guns at home.
Charles Andrew, the father of one of the boys, said Mickle's line of questioning violated the family's private lives.
"It's none of her business," he told the paper. "If she wants to know that, she needs to ask me, not Connor."
The school district stands behind the principal's action.