The scene on a Calvert County school bus at the beginning of the school year looked unremarkable and typical. At one point, a sixth-grade boy formed his fingers in the shape of a gun and pretended to shoot a classmate. Typical behavior, perhaps, for a boy at that grade level. The school responded with both an in-school and out-of-school suspension for the honor student. The student will now have a record categorizing his offense as a possession of a weapon.
This isn't the first time a school has handed down a harsh punishment for a misbehavior that could have been handled differently. Last spring a kindergartner was suspended for bringing his cowboy-style cap gun on a school bus, and then a 7-year-old was suspended earlier this year for chewing his breakfast pastry into the shape of a gun.