Grandma Says..

Observations and views from a different set of eyes

A Loss of Innocence

on January 31, 2013

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I grew up in the fifties and it was a great time to be a kid.  We walked the streets in safety, we went to school without fearing for our lives and we spent hours playing games like cops and robbers or cowboys and Indians.  We used our imaginations and built forts in the snow, made bows from string and willow branches, and spent hours shooting water pistols at each other while we pretended we were Flash Gordon destroying space monsters.  It was an innocent time and an era where a small child’s imagination knew no limits.

Now, children are being subjected to mass hysteria, brought about by the tragic shootings that have occurred.  Their toys are being considered lethal weapons and they are being punished for using their imaginations.

Police arrested a seven year old boy for bringing a Nerf style gun to school.  A six year old little girl was expelled for bringing her brother’s toy gun to class for show and tell.  A five year old (yes, five years old) boy was reprimanded for building a toy gun out of Legos in an afterschool program.  Another five year old was suspended from school and subjected to a psychological evaluation.  Why?  Because she was overheard talking with a classmate about shooting each other with a Hello Kitty Bubble Gun.  So, she was labeled a terrorist threat and now other schools will not accept her as a student.

Schools have taken a zero tolerance towards guns in school.  Who can argue with that in light of recent events?  BUT, where does good judgement come into play in this policy?  These are not guns, they are toys!  How far is this going to escalate?

Have we really become so fearful of a child having a toy gun that we arrest them or label them terrorists?  For heaven’s sake, they are too young to have any idea of why they are being punished.  Are we so intent on enforcing Zero tolerance policies that we are willing to have innocent little children arrested, expelled or suspended from school for possessing a toy?

Let’s get a grip!  We need to look at what we are doing and stop projecting our fears onto our children.  Yes, we need to be vigilant, it is a violent and dangerous world out there.  But, we also need to let our children enjoy their innocence and not be punished for using their imaginations.  We need to exercise good judgement and think before we punish a child for being a child.

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10 responses to “A Loss of Innocence

  1. MG says:

    Great post. I agree. It has gotten out of hand. Let’s do something about mental illness and the overall caustic nature of society. Criminals don’t follow laws no matter how many get through. Children innocently play. It’s kind of a scary time to be a U.S. citizen to me…I can’t agree with the right or the left on most issues.

    • I couldn’t have said it better myself. I am not pro or con Gun Control and am quite tired of all the controversy involved. I am for protecting children’s rights and being prosecuted for carrying a toy tips me off the edge.

  2. MG says:

    I’m right there with you on this.

  3. johnlmalone says:

    We must be of a similar age. Yes there is mass hysteria on this one as there has been in our country over child pornography — an issue that does demand tough measures —- where matters have strayed into the artistic field. Rachel Aviv did a very good article on this topic in your country in a recent article in The New Yorker [jan 14, 2013]

  4. mewhoami says:

    I completely agree with this post. I read a story last night about a little 7 year old boy who was playing an imaginary game by himself that he calls “Saving the World”. He was protecting the world by throwing an imaginary grenade into the imaginary hole where the imaginary evil people were. He was then suspended because by playing a war game, he had broken the “no weapons real or imaginary” rule that the school had put into place. He’s 7 years old and being a boy, these are the games they play. He couldn’t understand why he got in trouble by acting like a soldier who was protecting the world from evil. There should be rules and boundaries, but it’s starting to get completely ridiculous.

  5. One hundred percent correct!

    We need to wake up and realize that kids should be allowed to be kids.

    (I Say this as I enjoy still being a kid myself)

  6. I’m going to erase this right after this reply goes out! My e-mail is dh418@comcast.net if you need to reach me! I’m not sure who you’re warning me about! Could you e-mail me and let me know who it is? Thanks!

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