What Are We Teaching Our Second-Graders?

What is going on in this country when a second-grader gets suspended for drawing a picture of a gun? Why would you punish a child when he draws a picture of what he sees and hears on a daily basis? Should 7-year-old Kyle Walker be suspended for the misdeeds of Hollywood that consistently depict sex and corruption; when our own country is at war; and not to mention the many shootings that have occurred on college campuses here in the United States? The Dennis Township Primary School officials should be ashamed of themselves and Kyle’s family should sue Cape May County, N.J., for allowing the suspension to happen.

In some countries, kids are trained at an early age how to fight to defend their country. Peter Singer, a security analyst at the Brookings Institution, takes a look at the use of children as soldiers in his book Children at War. He examines how children are recruited and indoctrinated into warfare. Kids here in America are not trained for warfare, so we must ask ourselves, what are they being taught and trained for in the future? How did Kyle come to draw the picture? Was it part of the curriculum? Was he in an art class or did he just have a lot of time on his hands? The last question we should consider is how does this suspension benefit and encourage this child in a positive manner? If there was neglect on the part of the teacher, we can understand why the school officials declined to comment on Friday and why a message left at the superintendent’s office on Saturday was not returned. Had we suspended a second-grader, we would be too embarrassed to respond as well because we would see how ridiculous this course of action was.