In the wake of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, primary schools across the country are cracking down on gun-related threats.
Last week, in Mount Carmel, Penn., a 5-year-old kindergarten student was suspended from school after she allegedly said she would shoot her classmate, and then herself, with her pink "Hello Kitty" bubble gun, according to multiple local reports.
Parents of the kindergartener are seeking to fight the suspension, since their daughter did not have the bubble gun with her at the time the remark was made on Jan. 10. Their attorney, Robin Ficker of Bethesda, Md., said school district officials labeled the girl a "terrorist threat" after the incident, according to the Associated Press.
The kindergartener was waiting in the bus line with two friends when she made the remark about her pink bubble gun. The next day, officials at Mount Carmel Area Elementary School allegedly questioned the student for three hours about the incident without her parents' knowledge, local news outlet the Daily Item reports.
According to central Pennsylvania's PennLive.com, the kindergarten student was initially suspended for 10 days, but the suspension was reduced to two, after her mother addressed the issue with the school's principal, Susan Nestico. Despite the reduction, Ficker and the family are seeking a full expungement of the suspension, along with a public apology.
“This logic, which was not said in malice, came from the mind of this beautiful 5-year-old child who was playing with her friends, whom she hugs every day,” Ficker told the Daily Item. “And this shows how hysterical people who work at schools have become since Sandy Hook.”
Gun control and school safety have become hot-button issues as the debate rages on over whether guards and teachers should be armed in public schools.
Addressing guns in schools, President Barack Obama recommended on Wednesday that school police be funded by the federal government, but he left the decision up to the schools on whether those guards should be armed or not.