Officials at a Philadelphia elementary school called police on a six-year-old girl with Down syndrome after she made a “finger gun” at a teacher.
Maggie Gaines says her daughter, Margot, now has a police record after the child grew frustrated in class pointed a finger at her Valley Forge Elementary School teacher and said: “I shoot you.”
The school decided the six-year-old was not trying to actually kill her teacher, but nonetheless called police, who arrived and recorded the incident as school officials interrogated the girl
“They get this phone call and I was fine with everything up until calling the police,” Gaines tells local CBS3. “And I said, ‘You absolutely do not have to call the police. You know, this is ridiculous.’”
“They were asking her questions, and she was saying, ‘Oh, I shoot mommy,’ laughs, or, ‘I shoot my brother.’ The principal asked, ‘Did you mean to hurt your teacher?’ And she said no and it seemed like she didn’t even know what that meant,” Gaines tells CBS3.
“She really didn’t understand what she was saying, and having Down syndrome is one aspect, but I’m sure all 6-year-olds don’t really know what that means,” Gaines said. “Now, there is a record at the police that says she made a threat to her teacher.”
Gaines now wants the school to change its policies, which they claim forced them to call police on a six-year-old girl with Down syndrome.
Hoping to fuel support for gun control policies and anti-gun politicians, schools have been overreacting to imaginary guns, or things resembling imaginary guns.
A school in Nebraska “demanded a three-year-old deaf boy change his name because it resembled a gun when expressed in sign language,” The Hill reported in 2013 after a school in Maryland suspended a child for eating a Pop-Tart so it would resemble a gun.
“(A) seven-year-old in Colorado was suspended for throwing an imaginary hand grenade,” The Hill reported, adding “two six-year-old boys in Maryland were suspended for playing cops and robbers and using their fingers as guns.”