BOARDMAN, Ohio (WKBN) – Fifth-grader Nathan Entingh of Devonshire Alternative Elementary in Columbus returned to school Tuesday after serving a suspension which started last Thursday.
His crime? Waving his hand in the shape of a gun and pointing it at another student.
“I feel sorry for even thinking about doing that now,” Entingh said.
The school principal said students at Devonshire Alternative Elementary in Columbus had been warned before that there would be consequences for gun mimickry.
“I understand the sensitivity at schools these days with guns and stuff, but this wasn’t a toy gun, it wasn’t a look-like gun, it was his hand,” said Nathan’s father, Paul Entingh.
Boardman Schools Superintendent Frank Lazzeri said that they have not dealt with similar situations and that Boardman handles discipline on a case-by-base basis in a progressive fashion.
“You begin by talking to the child, reasoning with the child, warning the child, and the discipline goes up from there,” Lazzeri said. “You might involve the parents, you might suggest counseling for the child.”
Some schools operate on a zero-tolerance policy. A student was suspended in Columbus for bringing in a nerf dart gun and shooting it inside the school.
Lazzeri said Boardman Schools try to take a more flexible approach.
“Is there a zero-tolerance policy? Yes,” Lazzeri said. “But that policy takes into consideration the maturity of the child, the age of the child, the child’s mental state, before we hand out a large suspension or expulsion.”