Moving on from 'bubble gun' incident
It seems the bubble gun controversy has come to an amicable conclusion at Mount Carmel Area Elementary School, where a 5-year-old returned to kindergarten Friday following her suspension.
Citing student discipline privacy, the school district has chosen to remain mostly silent about its conduct regarding the situation, in which the girl was overheard telling two friends she was going to shoot them with her Hello Kitty Bubbles Gun and then shoot herself.
Most everyone agrees school officials overreacted in reportedly questioning the girl for three hours the next day without a parent and initially suspending her for 10 days, a penalty the girl's family's lawyer said was reduced to two days.
While no one on either side will say, it's believed the family received an apology and the girl's school record was cleared, and we hope that means no lawsuit.
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It's worth clarifying that the nationwide outrage toward the school district was not so much about the district addressing the girl's comments but in how it went about doing so.
Suffice it to say, as some reasonable people have suggested, there would have been criticism, too, had word leaked about a "threat" having gone unaddressed, especially in the wake of the Sandy Hook massacre.
As most parents see it, for the sake of their own children's safety, they want swift and definitive action when there is even a perceived threat. That approach can change quickly, of course, when it's our own "innocent" child.
School discipline is a difficult issue. Consider the news this past week from Mahanoy Area in Schuylkill County, where students must now sign out toilet paper because of continued problems with bathroom vandalism.
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The lawyer who represented the family in the bubble gun case is flamboyant and experienced, well-known for decades for his needling of athletes at professional sporting events. His colorful language and wide-open commentary added fuel to this fire.
With an agreement reached, however, we hope the young girl, her family and the school can successfully move on.