Mid-Del first-grader disciplined for pointing finger like gun

Oklahoma schools: Mid-Del first-grader Patrick Riley was disciplined after pointing his finger like a gun.
BY TRICIA PEMBERTON tpemberton@opubco.com Published: January 20, 2011

Lydia Fox said her 7-year-old son is like any other little boy — vivid imagination, loves to play with GI Joe action figures and Nerf guns.

“He can spend hours in the world of make-believe pretending to be a soldier, hiding behind the couch and getting the ‘bad guys,'” she wrote in an e-mail to a local media outlet.

But pointing his finger in the shape of a gun at fellow students landed Patrick Riley in trouble last week at Parkview Elementary School in the Midwest City-Del City district.

Fox said the first-grader was given in-school suspension Friday for his behavior. Instead of letting him sit in the in-school suspension room for the day, however, she picked him up and took him to work with her.

“He doesn't really see why he got in trouble,” Fox said. “I don't feel like he did anything to intentionally threaten or harass another student. It was just a 7-year-old boy being a 7-year-old boy.”

District spokeswoman Stacey Boyer said in a written statement that “a student attending Parkview Elementary has repeatedly used his hands to simulate a gun and act as if he is shooting fellow students. The child has been told on more than one occasion to stop this behavior. The parent was notified on multiple occasions and has met with the principal to further discuss the ongoing behavior. Mid-Del Schools cannot report on any disciplinary action, however, it can confirm that the student was not suspended.

“It is the policy of Mid-Del Schools to address the disruption of the learning environment. Students have a right to pursue learning without the disruptions which may occur when another student chooses to be inattentive, overtly disruptive, or otherwise hinder the learning process. Any student who impedes the learning of others and/or exhibits a continued disregard for his/her personal learning opportunities will be subject to the following actions: being removed from class, parental contact, detention, in school restriction, suspension, other appropriate action.”

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