January 12, 2013

Editorial: Student's suspension was excessive

CHICKASHA — We find the suspension of a Bill Wallace Early Childhood Center student for making a gun gesture toward another student to be excessive.

We understand that gun violence and school shootings are nothing to be taken lightly, but over reactions like this one are just as dangerous. The last thing we as society need to do is implement standards that make our children afraid to express themselves. Such actions could only lead to more violent and dangerous outbursts.

We think a better course of action would have been to sit the child down with a guidance counselor and ask why he made the gun motion. This would get to the root of the problem with this child without punishing a five-year-old for what amounts to fairly normal elementary age behavior. Most would be hard pressed to find any boy that didn't play cowboys and indians, or some variation of the game as a young child. Our country was created at the tip of a sword, so why are we as a people so surprised that violent nature is common amongst Americans?

We are not advocating violence in any way, but to deny that it is a part of our society is foolish. The question of whether it is excessive remains to be answered and until it is we find no merit in punishing children for common behavior.

Editorials represent a consensus of the editorial board.

The editorial board is comprised of the publisher, editor and various staff members of The Express-Star

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