Five-Year-Old Suspended from School for Plastic, Princess Bubble Gun

The offending plastic toy.  (Photo: NY Daily News)

The offending plastic toy. (Photo: NY Daily News)

Guns are bad. Guns are scary. All guns. All the time.

At least, that’s what school officials at Southeast Elementary in Brighton, Colo., seem to think.

The news broke last week that officials suspended a five-year-old kindergartener for bringing a plastic bubble gun to school and firing three-bubble bursts in the hallway. The battery-powered, blue and yellow gun featured an eight-pound trigger and a Frozen princess bubble canister.

The girl’s mother, Emma, said she was shocked when she received the call to pick up her daughter.

“If they had contacted me and said can you make sure this doesn’t happen again, we just want you to be aware, I think that would have been a more appropriate way to handle the situation,” she told Denver’s KDVR.

“It’s a shame because it’s the end of the school year, and it’s kind of ending on a bad note now,” she continued. “And she didn’t deserve that. She didn’t deserve a punishment like that.”

School officials cited a policy that prohibits the “carrying, using, actively displaying or threatening with the use of a firearm facsimile that could reasonably be mistaken for an actual firearm on district property.”

They failed in their official statement to explain how the bubble gun in question could ever be reasonably mistaken for an actual firearm.

“That’s a silly reason not to go to school,” the girl’s mother told KDVR. “What bugs me is this is going to be something they can refer to if we have any issues in the future which I don’t foresee, but it’s always going to be lingering there in her school file.”

Emma wasn’t the only one baffled by the punishment.

“It’s absurd to send a 5-year-old home for a bubble-maker,” Nathan Woodliff, executive director of ACLU of Colorado, told ABC affiliate KMGH. “This is a silly example of a very real problem.

“Zero-tolerance policies often mean zero common sense.”

The Washington Post notes that zero-tolerance policies like the one used by Southeast Elementary have come under fire in recent years. The number out-of-school suspensions has risen, as students are sent home for pointing their fingers like guns and nibbling pastries into the shape of guns.

The NRA has gone to bat for mothers like Emma, helping to enact legislation like Florida’s “Right to be a Kid Act.” The Act, according to the NRA-ILA, targets some of the worst abuses, by making clear that “Simulating a firearm or weapon while playing or wearing clothing or accessories that depict a firearm or weapon or express an opinion regarding a right guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution is not grounds for disciplinary action or referral to the criminal justice or juvenile justice system.”

{ 27 comments… add one }
  • Mike Watkins March 24, 2017, 2:28 pm

    This is SO wonderful! The kids at that school are SO MUCH SAFER now!

    That was sarcasm, if you happen to be a bit on the dense side. Actually I think people who make decisions like that need to be fired and put to work where their decisions can have no impact whatsoever on others, especially children. Maybe shoveling manure on chicken farms. Obviously they have experience with chicken sh_t.

    The bit about these kind of things being impelled by fear of litigation is total b.s. too. They ban bubble guns, crackers shaped like guns, and action-figure tiny plastic toy swords because they do totally hate the idea of arms in citizens hands, and want to totally indoctrinate the kids.

    • Chuck Troupe February 17, 2018, 5:17 am

      OMG! Can you just imagine the horror inflicted on those poor teachers and administrators if that little girl actually had been caught with a (gasp!) bananna?!?!?!? They are all probably undergoing mandatory trauma counseling at this very moment!

  • Admin. March 24, 2017, 9:35 am

    I am a school Administrator at a Christian school. At my school, the teachers would most likely take the following course of action with a bubble maker: First, thinks its a cool toy. Second, see it as a distraction – unless the child asked if it was ok. Third, hold the toy so the kids don’t get unruly and make a mess with spilling the bubbles. (We lease our facility and want to take care of it). Fourth, shoot the bubbles themselves a couple of times before putting it away. Fifth, use it as a teaching opportunity to discuss the concept of “what is appropriate and not appropriate” in different contexts. Sixth, make a game out of it. Seventh, return it at the end of the day.

    If a teacher saw this bubble maker as a weapon, they would be corrected. The other teachers would have a ‘talk’ with them. Part of the problem in some schools, is that no one wants to “get in trouble” so they feel like they are painted into a corner and have to either come down hard or pontificate. They feel pressure from “potential” vocal parents, higher ups and the worst thing yet – looking bad in the media. In many places, the ability to discipline has been taken away from the teacher, so common sense approaches are taken away from them and replaced by a bureaucratic type response. A key for a ‘culture of common sense’ is for the administrators, principals, teachers and school board to have these talks about common sense approaches long before things happen. However, I really believe that most teachers and administrators in most schools do use common sense and would see this for what it is – a soapy distraction at worst, a teaching moment at best, — with some potential fun in between.
    A good resource that I recommend parents, teachers and administrators read is the book “Bringing Up Boys,” by Dr. James Dobson. The author deals with this in a refreshing way that lets parents take a breath.

  • TooTallDean June 9, 2016, 6:25 am

    Remember when all this retarded crap used to only be from UK/Britain ?
    What happened, America?

  • GRUMPUS June 4, 2016, 9:55 pm

    This is why these kinds of stories get all blown out of proportion. Now can we get down to business and deal with kids that bring their music onto school grounds. Madd Glock Click for example. My ears are not meant to listen to audio-violence.

  • GunFlint1 June 3, 2016, 7:26 pm

    Of course it is Colofornia…What do you expect ? ..Now if she would have been smoking pot, caught in the boys room, having an abortion on the floor that would have been OK..

    • Chris Baker June 4, 2016, 10:11 am

      You need to re-read the article. This took place in Colorado. How many other things did you get wrong while “reading” it? For your edification here is the second paragraph of the article:
      “At least, that’s what school officials at Southeast Elementary in Brighton, Colo., seem to think.”
      Colo. is not the abbreviation for California.
      Mind you now, being a former Californian I wouldn’t put this past them as well but we need to keep everything correct or they will burn us to the ground for the least little mistake. Sorry if I seem harsh but that’s the way they are.

      • Grandpa Dino June 4, 2016, 5:34 pm

        I believe that GunFlint1 was being facetious, with so many Californians having moved to Colorado, hence Colofornia.

      • Charles Conklin February 16, 2018, 7:23 am

        The term “Colofornia” is very obviously a combination of Colorado and California, meant to link the leftist, anti- American politics of the two states. In other words, Colorado is getting just as bad as California.

  • RICK NEMEC June 3, 2016, 5:26 pm


  • wolfpack-bravo June 3, 2016, 3:58 pm

    Yet another reason that we are pulling our kid out of public school. That and his 4th grade class next year is scheduled to be 41 students. In one class room with one teacher.
    Anyway, common sense is now gone in our society thanks in large part to the liberal mindset that we have allowed to permeate our country.
    I have to remind my oldest son all the time to not talk about his pellet gun, shotgun or the pistols he gets to shoot. He would probably get expelled.
    I am thinking about sending his principal the picture I have of him killing his first dove last year.
    It could be his yearbook photo. 👍

  • Kimberpross June 3, 2016, 3:09 pm

    Schools have become so concerned of litigation they install these zero tolerance rules. A student breaks a rule, the administrator opens the rule book, the punishment is stated, the administrator applies the rule. No thought required, no judgement, no empathy. School administrators should be concerned that robots will take over their profession as a first opportunity.

    • Chris Baker June 4, 2016, 10:13 am

      Yep. They are operating under the principle of “no brains, no headaches”. I think they are pain free.

  • Derek Tiller June 3, 2016, 2:16 pm

    Looks like a high capacity, full auto, military assault bubble weapon to me everybody. That little girl should go to jail for not having a tax stamp and the manufacturer sued for being irresponsible. Why isn’t the ATF knocking down their door and raiding their house right now?

    • Chuck Troupe February 17, 2018, 5:24 am

      Derek … It could have been worse. What if she had been pointing a bananna at someone?

    • Wally February 17, 2018, 11:44 am

      Chuck and Nancy said this 5 year old felon will be taken down!!!
      Once they made sure she wasn’t an ILLEGAL that is!!

  • DIYinSTL June 3, 2016, 12:47 pm

    I’m not a fan of litigation but a lawsuit to have this incident expunged from the student’s record, legal costs, and a punitive fine are in order.

  • Boss June 3, 2016, 12:28 pm

    These school administrators and teachers should be arrested for child abuse. These are the VERY people that should NEVER be allowed near children. They instill fear in children and make object lessons of them. They hold them out to ridicule and shame them in front of their peers. All the things that liberals complain about for transsexuals and homosexuals
    With all the brainwashing, is there any wonder children strike back, sometimes with horrendous results.
    With all conflicting liberal indoctrination is it any wonder there are masses of college kids mentally unbalanced (crazy) with “safe spaces” and “micro aggressions” unable to distinguish between basic right and wrong!
    School today is child abuse on a massive scale.

    Liberals: If the shoe doesn’t fit, make everyone wear it. – Ann Coulter

    • Wally February 17, 2018, 11:47 am

      The hate from the left causes these people to do this bad shit, all they do is spread hate 24/7!!

  • Lou Fisher June 3, 2016, 10:19 am

    When I went to school – A similar incident would cause my teacher to say ‘Put that away right now’ – And
    that would be the end of that! LF==

  • jim1743 June 3, 2016, 10:14 am

    Well, it was an automatic….pull the trigger once and you get multiple bubbles!!

    This example shows the public school system has come full circle. The idiots that the school system produced generations ago are now in charge of dumbing down the current crop that will be educating (propagandizing and dumbing down) the next victims and so on and so on! A vicious cycle that is impossible to break!

    • Chuck Troupe February 17, 2018, 5:25 am

      Don’t silly Jim! This is how the public schools produce democrats.

  • DRAINO June 2, 2016, 11:01 am

    I agree with SuperG….”powerful morons” are the problem today…..not bubble guns. Hillary has killed more people than bubble guns. I guarantee more folks have died at the hands of these idiots-in-charge than have by bubble guns…….. or pop-tart guns……..or fingers in the shape of a gun. Seems a new level of stupidity is being reached almost every day.

    • BANG BANG June 3, 2016, 6:05 am

      Wait, since their is now a gun that looks like a cell phone shouldn’t they
      ” SUSPEND ” every one at school for having one on school property. LOL, students & teacher’s ! But seriously more school age children die each year from distracted driving than guns. So I’m sure that it could be easily argued that in fact cell phones kill more people than guns ? Just a thought. Oh, yeah it’s fact that distracted driving causes more auto accidents than anything else. But, bubble guns, little toy green army men are scary. I’m thinking about putting a bunch of them out around the house to keep out any burglars! Yep, I can see where a bubble gun could stop a home invasion. Hey if you took a bubble in the eye it might burn ! SCHOOL BOARDS MEMBERS need to Required to have a PHD of COMMON SENSE.

  • SuperG June 1, 2016, 11:09 am

    School administrators are a lot like the TSA agents at the airports. When you give a moron power, you don’t get a suddenly smart person, just a powerful moron. Keep teachers in the classroom, where they belong. Hire business majors to run the school.

    • The Original Brad June 3, 2016, 8:13 am

      Well said SuperG!!!!

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