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Yesterday I talked about a toy gun recall, but today it seems there is another issue with toy guns. 9-year-old Patrick Timoney brought a 2-inch plastic Lego gun to school and was playing with his friend in the school lunchroom, when he was abruptly called to the principal’s office. Frightened, Patrick, who is in the fourth grade, soon learned that the principal wanted to suspend the boy for bringing in the toy gun.

The principal, at Public School 52 on Staten Island, called Patrick’s mother to discuss the problem. After a meeting with the boy’s parents, Patrick was spared disciplinary action and school officials told the boy to leave the toy gun at home. Nevertheless, Patrick’s mother, Laura Timoney, was enraged at the principal’s handling of the situation. From her point of view, her son went from a well-behaved, straight-A student to a danger to his classmates. What makes matters worse, in Laura’s mind, is the fact that the other boy that Patrick was playing with at the time of the incident also had a plastic weapon: a tiny ax.

Other parents of children at Public School 52 also believe the principal overreacted, and argued that school officials could’ve simply told Patrick to put the toy away and not to bring it to school again. Laura also expects an apology from the principal, especially after he son asked to stay home from school the next day because he was afraid. However, with several high school and college shootings in the past ten years, maybe the principal thought she was being vigilant in keeping her school and students safe. According to New York City’s Department of Education, the principal was simply following the "no tolerance" policy for guns of any kind at school. What do you think? Did the principal overreact or is Laura Timoney not taking the issue seriously enough?

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