US Marine’s little boy suspended for pretending pencil was a gun

While a lot of parents laud public schools for adapting a “zero tolerance policy” when it comes to violence, it’s beginning to look more like a zero tolerance for good old fashioned common sense.

The latest example of this happened this week in Suffolk, Va., where a second grader was suspended for pointing a pencil at another student and making gun noises.

Seven-year-old Christopher Marshall says he was playing with another student in class Friday, according to the local Fox affiliate, when his teacher asked them to stop pointing pencils at each other.

When his father, Paul Marshall, a Marine for many years, asked him about the incident, Christopher said, ‘Well I was being a Marine and the other guy was being a bad guy.'”


Or, yet another case of little boys playing good guy, bad guy… a phenomenon that dates back to the Garden of Eden.

But don’t tell that to Suffolk Public Schools spokesperson Bethanne Bradshaw, who thinks otherwise: “Kids don’t think about ‘Cowboys and Indians’ anymore, they think about drive-by shootings and murders and everything they see on television news every day.”

“A pencil is a weapon when it is pointed at someone in a threatening way and gun noises are made,” Bradshaw told Fox 43 TV.

So add a pencil to a Pop Tart, should a teacher believe it was bitten into the shape of a gun, as items that can get your children suspended from school.

As for little Christopher, at least he’s getting off easy, as suspensions for his “offense” can last up to 10 days and he will only be home for two.


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Tom Tillison


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