Nerf Gun Suspension: Kids Punished for Bringing Toys With Teacher's Permission

Nerf gun suspensions have upset the parents of children at Chase Lake Elementary School in Washington. The children were told to bring the toy guns to school for an assignment Friday, but when school administrators found out, the kids were suspended for violation of the "zero tolerance" policy on guns.

The suspensions over the Nerf guns was a result of a probability assignment thought up by their teacher. The children were supposed to fire the play dart guns 100 times and record what happened; however, some of them "tried out" the toys before school. Every child that fired the foam darts was suspended, even though only one sixth grade boy brought the toy guns to school.

"They are both very upset," Shannon Shumard, whose sixth-grade son and fourth-grade daughter were suspended, told KATU News. "I mean it's a day suspension, but it's a permanent on their record."

The suspensions mean Shumard's children will not be eligible to serve on Chase Lake Elementary's student council. The mother was mystified by the fact that the teacher approved the project, seemingly unaware of the rule the school had in place about gun-like toys.

"If the teach and the school staff don't even know their own rules, how are the children supposed to know them?" Shumard questioned.

Another mother of a straight-A student, Stacey Leidholm, understands the school's policy, but not the method of discipline. Her boy was suspended, but she questioned if different actions could have been taken.

"I do understand that they definitely need consequences, but not that harsh of a consequence," she said.

While the Edmonton School District did confirm that an incident occurred at the school, they would not give specifics, only saying that the method of discipline was in the principal's hands.

"It's a matter of safety and it's of the utmost importance," Amanda Ralston, a school district spokeswoman, told "So even if it's a toy, we take it seriously."

Both mothers are appealing the suspensions with the school district.