Samuel Burgos: Toy Gun Earns Boy 2-year Suspension

September 17, 2010
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Samuel Burgos has already been out of school for a year after he was caught with a toy gun at school. Reports state that he may miss yet another as per the ‘zero tolerance’ policy. Get the story here, and see photos and video below.

In a world where even making a gun gesture with your hand can land you in hot water, a certain 8-year-old boy is paying dearly for bringing a toy to school.

Last November, Samuel Burgos was suspended after a staff member at Pembroke Pines Charter School found a toy fun in his backpack. He was not allowed to return for the remainder of the year.

That punishment seemed harsh enough, but when his parents tried to register him for the 2010-2011 school year, they were shocked to learn that he was still not allowed to return.

His father said:

“He made a mistake, but why the severe punishment? I don’t understand that…”

The school board contends that even though it was a toy, it fit the description of a weapon—after all it was capable of firing projectiles. They even note that he showed the toy gun to another student on the day he was caught.

The zero tolerance policy in Broward County allows for an automatic expulsion in the event that a student brings a weapon on campus. They are trying to arrange for Samuel to attend a nearby alternative school instead. His parents will continue to fight for his re-admission at an upcoming school board meeting.

With stories like this, it’s very easy to get all fired up over the headline, and say ‘come on, let’s use some common sense, it’s only a toy.’ I can see that point of view, but believe me, the same people who feel that way, would likely be the same to sue if harm was done to their child as the result of an act committed with realistic looking toy gun.

All it takes is a kid to wave a toy gun in the air, a stampede ensues, and children are crushed. Next thing you know, parents are standing in front of the school board raising hell because nothing was done about it. Zero tolerance is there for a reason, punishing students on case-by-case system only leads to claims of favoritism and even racism.

Personal responsibility seems to be the only solution. Do you disagree? Let me hear it below.

Also, check out a video about a story similar to Samuel Burgos, the 8-year-old boy who may miss two years of school over a toy gun below.



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5 Responses to “Samuel Burgos: Toy Gun Earns Boy 2-year Suspension”

  1. 1
    Stacy Says:

    Two years seems kind of harsh! I think they got the point after one year off.

  2. 2
    Jeanette Says:

    I know seriously…2 years?

  3. 3
    Rachelle Says:

    Two years is really harsh to me, although I am a fan of the zero tolerance policy and think it is necessary.

  4. 4
    Jen Says:

    that is too harsh!

  5. 5
    Miriam Says:

    A wake up call sentence perhaps