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Crayolas Criminalized

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At age 5 many young children play with toy guns. Toy or “pretend” guns could be fashioned out of anything, even crayons. On October 7th, in Mobil, Alabama, Elizabeth (last name being held from the public for privacy reasons) ran around her classroom ‘shooting’ classmates, pretending her crayon was a gun. Elizabeth, being a rambunctious 5 year old, saw absolutely no harm in this. Her teacher however found this unacceptable and intolerable, forcing the child to sign a contract stating not to commit suicide or homicide.

In signing this contract the principle of her school, E.R. Dickson Elementary, was not aware of the situation, meaning they were not following protocol completely. What about her parents? A 5 year old should not be signing anything without parent consent, correct? In this situation, Elizabeth’s parents were oblivious to these circumstances until the school guidance counselor called her parents and told them that their daughter had signed the contract. Her parents, furious, waited in the hall as she was taking a questionnaire to make sure she was not a danger to the environment. Rebecca, Elizabeth’s mother, gave  a statement to a reporter saying “My child interrupted us and said, ‘What is suicide Mommy? What is suicide Daddy?’”

How is a child supposed to sign something they don’t even understand and being an educator her teacher should have maybe brought up her concerns to her parents instead of having gone through all of this? Some things are meant to be learned and taught in the safety of their own homes and not out in public. Maybe instead of having this sort of thing happen without the parents being informed first, they should be contacted and have it explained to them first? Or even explain it to the person signing it before they do so?


FSA Connection Questions

  1. In the article, is the author trying to inform us of why the school systems work ethic isn’t up to par?
  2. In the piece the word protocol means what?
  3. The author seems to offer what main idea?
  4. Select the best two sentences from the story that support the idea of the school system work ethic?
  5. What is the connotation of the word concerns in the story?
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Crayolas Criminalized