LOVELAND, Colo. — A 2nd grader has been suspended from school in Loveland for a make believe game he was playing. The 7-year-old says he was trying to save the world. But school administrators say he broke a key rule during his pretend play.Via Boing Boing, where the comment thread includes a delineation of the school's "absolutes" rules and this salient comment:
“I was trying to save people and I just can’t believe I got dispended,” says Alex Evans, who doesn’t understand his suspension any better than he can pronounce it.
“It’s called ‘rescue the world,’” he says.
He was playing a game during recess at Loveland’s Mary Blair Elementary School and threw an imaginary grenade into a box with pretend evil forces inside.
“I pretended the box, there’s something shaking in it, and I go ‘pshhh.’”
The boy didn’t throw anything real or make any threats against anyone. He explains he was pretending to be the hero. “So nothing can get out and destroy the world.” But his imaginary play broke the school’s real rules. The school lists “absolutes” designed to keep a safe environment. The list includes absolutely no fighting, real or imaginary; no weapons, real or imaginary.
Sometimes, for children, a weapon isn't a sign of violence; it's a sign of power. Banning weapons tells children that they have no right to even imagine being powerful, that in the Oedipal struggle, it is their duty to lose.