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Thursday, January 31, 2013

5-Year-Old Faces Suspension Over Lego Gun

Guns are a hugely sensitive 
issue right now, but one has to 
wonder whether or not some 
sachusetts boy is facing suspension for building a Lego gun 
during an after school program.
MSN reports that 5-year-old Joseph Cardosa, part of the after 
school program at Hyannis West Elementary School on Cape 
Cod, was the subject of a letter to his parents a few days ago 
which said that he had received a written warning for using 
toys “inappropriately” and that, after a second warning, he 
might be suspended for two weeks.
Shelia Cruz and Octavio Cardosa, Joseph’s parents, think that 
the school is being a bit extreme on the issue.
“It’s not like he’s designing a machine gun,” said Cardosa.
“I can understand with all the things that are going on right 
now in schools, but on the other hand, kids are taught you know 
‘here’s a squirt gun, this is fun,’ so this is fun to him, you know 
what I mean, he’s running around playing – a little bit of re-
direction would have been enough,” said Cruz, Joseph’s 
Children being scolded, punished, or even suspended over a toy 
gun have become quite common in the weeks since the Sandy 
Hook Elementary School Massacre in Newtown, Connecticut, 
reports Fox 25. A reporter for the local Fox affiliate asked 
Needham Child Psychologist Dr. Larry Berkowitz how parents 
and schools can differentiate between a genuine threat and 
simple “child’s play.”
He said that some of the behavior is normal, considering the 
“violent diet” children are fed every day.
“Some of that’s normative to our culture,” said Berkowitz. 
“That’s what kids see: in video games, in movies, they see it on 
TV, they hear about guns in the news, so, yeah, some of this is 
about copying and some of it is about gaining a sense of mastery 
of power for kids, sometime. Again, we don’t know the specifics 
of any one situation and that’s what we want to understand with 
a given child: what was going on – these could be great 
opportunities, teachable moments to bring up these topics with 
our children.”
Hyannis West Elementary’s principal said “we need a safe 
enviornment for our students,” adding, “While someone might 
think that making a Lego gun is just an action of a 5-year-old, 
to other 5-year-olds, that might be a scary experience.”
What do you think? Should schools be cracking down on play 
violence, or are they overreacting in some cases?
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  1. Totally overreacting!! They should be giving the boy praise for creating a great looking TOY gun with Legos!

  2. Great looking gun...... He would make a good gunsmith one day!


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