Kid suspended for drawing a laser gun.

It used to be you had to bring an actual gun to school in order to be suspended for it. These days all you have to do is draw something that looks like it could be a gun and the chances are good your school will suspend you:

“I just can’t believe that there wasn’t another way to resolve this,” said Paula Mosteller, the boy’s mother. “He’s so upset. The school made him feel like he committed a crime. They are doing more damage than good.”

The Mostellers said the drawing did not show blood, bullets, injuries, or target any human. They said it was just a drawing that resembled a gun.

But Payne Junior High administrators thought the sketch was enough of a threat and gave the boy a five-day suspension, later reduced to three days.

Chandler district spokesman Terry Locke said the sketch was “absolutely considered a threat,” and threatening words or pictures are punishable.

This is just idiotic. You want to know just how idiotic it is? Listen to the school administrator’s justification for their actions:

Ben Mosteller said that when he came to the school to discuss his son’s punishment, school officials mentioned the seriousness of the issue and talked about the massacre at Colorado’s Columbine High School – the site where two teenagers shot and killed 12 students and injured 24 others in 1999.

Last I checked the assholes who shot up Columbine used real guns, not drawings of guns. Let’s try using a little common sense here, folks. How can you expect to teach kids how to think when you refuse to do it yourselves?

15 thoughts on “Kid suspended for drawing a laser gun.

  1. Dunno, Les.  I can see this incident being justified if he actually gave the drawing to a student he was actively bullying and verbal or physical innuendos and veiled threats of violence.  But if he just drew a laser gun, then yeah, it’s dumb.

  2. Could have been planning to give someone a vicious paper cut

    I can understand if it was a little more…. realistic, such as drawing classmates or teachers being shot, but not just for drawing a laser

    Don’t suppose the image that wasn’t loading on the article was a picture of what he drew

  3. A laser gun? Are schools afraid of being attacked by aliens now?

    Is this kid secretly some extraterrestrial sleeper?

    I mean, come on. Maybe he was doodling something in his imagination, something that he may want to invent one day.

    Nice work school board, now the terrorists will have phasers first. Thanks a bundle.

  4. If the kid is bullying other kids then kick him out for the bullying and make that clear. This article is pretty short so I’m sure we’re not getting the full story, but it seems that the school board booted him only because he drew a picture of a laser gun, not because he was using it to bully other students.

  5. Even if it was some kind of ‘warning sign’ do they really think suspending him is going to do anything.  If they’re worried about the kid, then they need to find out what’s wrong with him, give him counselling, etc ad nauseum.

    BUT, shouldn’t they have a psychologist, or someone trained to handle this sort of thing, or even just a medical doctor make that judgement?  Where does a principle or school board get the credentials to make a judgement on a kids state of mind based on a drawing and then hand down punishment?  They’re just asking to be sued.

  6. I wish they’d release the picture.  I’d love to know what a “laser gun” looks like.

    Hard to imagine it would be as scary as the thought of idiots running schools.

  7. It’s interesting that they’d suspend him for drawing a picture of a laser gun.  What is the punishment for drawing a picture of a REAL gun….. flogging?

    To say that these people are overreacting is a courtesy.  I think they’re fucking nutz.  They have to first say “I think this warrants punishment” and then say “I think it is serious that we need to suspend the kid” and THEN when the parents complain say “I think we’re still doing the right thing.”  THEN when the papers get hold of the story say “I still think we’re doing the right thing.”  AND nowhere during all this “thinking” does anyone think they might get sued, or if they did that either they have a chance of making their case stick or that they’re so convinced they’re doing the right thing that it’s worth the risk.  THAT’S what boggles my mind.

  8. It used to be you had to bring an actual gun to school in order to be suspended for it.

    Hell, it used to be (about 30-40 years ago) that you could bring an actual rifle or shotgun to school and nobody would blink an eye. Of course, kids were going hunting and plinking a lot more back then, but still ..

  9. It’s the happy faces.

    Or maybe it’s the Lilliputian holding onto the trigger. Or the one atop the slide?

    Actually, it looks more like a road with a gun shape to it.

  10. My oldest son did a drawing that someone found objectionable, and it was locked in his file until graduation. Oh, dear lord, the stupidity of the administrator who called me…

    This is actually the child’s re-drawing of the “gun”.  The original is locked away and the parents aren’t allowed a copy.

    I wonder if the original version had happy faces, or if those are a design evolution driven by the trauma of being treated like a criminal for drawing a picture.

  11. This is just BEYOND stupid!!!!  I agree with his mother that this could cause more harm than good.  I once knew a nice kid falsely accused of something who changed into a problem kid – living up to the label placed on him.  I sincerely hope the parents sue and use the money to enroll their son in private school.  Shame on that school!!!!!

  12. The reason nobody here is understanding this issue is evident in the statement “How can you expect to teach kids how to think when you refuse to do it yourselves?”. The thought that children today are being taught how to think is a faulty basis for any discussion concerning the public school systems.

    What children are being taught in the school system is to consult authority in all things, which is exactly what has happened here. And no amount of sense, intelligence, reason or combinations of them change the fact that- in light of the basic premise upon which the school systems are functioning- justice has been served.

    What happens to the child, or any child in these schools, matters not a whit (to those who run the school). What matters is that authority has been confirmed, it has been consulted and it has passed arbitrary judgment, and the parents in this case have furthered the voice of authority by appealing to it. Golly, the suspension was reduced from five to three days, but the point is that nothing has changed- arbitrary rule has taken over and the school has become a society not of law and rules but of knee-jerk reactions based in character defects.


  13. All that for drawing a laser gun on a paper? I personally think this is idiotically exaggerated, ‘cause I could relate to this, with the part of being slapped scratched out. I’m a man of imagination and wander, and in my spare time, I enjoy to draw some doodles. I’ve noticed adults worry of their children being influenced to think that things are right when they’re not, such as killing, so apparently for this one, he gets punished. If he was like me, and was not effected at all just for playing a game where you shoot some guys or steal a car, then this is just dumb.

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