HYANNIS (CBS) – A mother says her 5-year-old boy was threatened with suspension after he made a gun out of Legos during an after school program.
Sheila Cruz received a written warning recently about her son from the after school staff at the Hyannis West Elementary School because he had been using toys inappropriately.
While Cruz thought her son Joseph Cardosa was just being a kid, she said school administrators called his actions a threat.
“I was given a book and they told me he’s going to be suspended if he does it again and to sign here,” Cruz told WBZ NewsRadio 1030 Tuesday. “I just couldn’t believe it. He’s 5-years-old.”
Joseph’s parents called the school principal but were given the same warning.
WBZ NewsRadio 1030 Doug Cope reports
“‘I said listen, he’s a 5-year-old, I think maybe a redirection would be more appropriate. I understand what’s going on with this whole thing in schools and everything else but couldn’t they have given him a warning?’ ” Cruz said.
“She (the principal) said, ‘it’s a threat to other children and other children could have been scared.'”
Cruz said she spoke with her son and explained to him that it’s not OK to play with guns at school. Cruz said even though he knows playing with guns is inappropriate, he is still a 5-year-old boy who just wants to play.
“He knows that but he was just being a kid, having fun, playing,” Cruz said.
But school officials say little Joe made the toy gun, then ran around the classroom, pointing it at other kids, and making shooting sounds.
Cruz says while she and her husband thought about a new school for Joseph, they don’t think they will take the incident any further.
“It’s not the school we hate, it’s the actions the school took that we don’t like,” she said. “They made it into something a lot bigger than it should have been.”
The superintendent told WBZ-TV’s Bill Shields they have a responsibility to make sure the children feel comfortable and not intimidated in school.
“We’re trying to create an atmosphere of respect,” says Barnstable School Superintendent Mary Czajkowski.