Monday, October 25, 2010

Silly parents

Samuel Burgos' ordeal started with a little boys' game of Army, in which the 7-year-old, his brother and a neighbor pretended to be soldiers.

But it ended with grown-up consequences when Samuel mistakenly took the clear plastic toy pistol in his backpack to Pembroke Pines Charter School - - resulting in a yearlong expulsion from the Broward school district last November.

"They are treating him as if he was a criminal," said Samuel's father Magdiel Burgos. "He made a mistake."

Samuel is one of 111 children in Broward who were punished last year under Broward's code of conduct, which is based on the state's zero-tolerance campaign for bringing a weapon - - a firearm, explosive or slingshot - - to class.

While intended to protect teachers and fellow students from weapons that can actually cause harm, the classification also includes toys that propel objects, such as water guns and toys that shoot plastic balls like Samuel's.

If this kid pulled out a toy gun in an inappropriate situation, and was shot by a cop, these parents would understand why this rule must be strictly enforced. We have to make sure no weapon, toy or not, is ever brought to school.

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