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School District Spokesman Says Loveland 2nd Grader NOT Suspended For Imaginary Grenade

Mary Blair Elementary
Mary Blair Elementary, Google Maps

Earlier this week, you heard about a 2nd grade student in Loveland that was suspended after he threw an imaginary grenade. Sound ridiculous, right?

Well, as a surprise to no one, it appears there is more to the story…

People across the country were throwing fits about how absurd this scenario was and took to bashing Mary Blair Elementary and everyone that worked there. Many of them citing that it was wrong for them to “punish children’s imaginations.” The school wasn’t saying much and holding tight to federal policies about student privacy.

But hold your horses…today in the Loveland Reporter-Herald a school district spokesman said,

He was not suspended for having an imaginary weapon…The district itself has never expelled or suspended a student for having an imaginary weapon.

 

This is a much more complicated issue than has been portrayed.

The school and district are trying their best to respond to the barrage of media inquiries and people lambasting her school, which I can understand, but they cannot talk about any details involving the suspension itself because of the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act from the U.S. Department of Education.

That’s a rough place to be in I’m sure.

But here is where things get sticky, the boy’s mom still says that the school’s principal told her, personally, that the suspension was due to the imaginary grenade.

So, now the small school is stuck in a giant game of “he-said, she-said” that is garnering national media attention and either the mom or the principal is lying.

Or, there could be even more to the story…

If I were a betting man, I’d bet there was some miscommunication somewhere along the way. Maybe some email sent to the wrong address, a phrase misheard on the phone, or a conversation that wasn’t heard in the context it was intended for. (I think that happens between parents and teachers fairly often due to the nature of their relationships.) And I think somewhere in those miscommunications lies the truth. But I am guessing we may never know all those details.

Mom is mad, she has her story, and she is pulling her kids out of the school. And the school can’t really say much other than, “If you knew the whole story, that we’re not legally allowed to share with you, you’d understand why the boy was suspended.” It could be the truth, it could be a cop-out.

If you ask me there might be at least a little bit of creative storytelling going on both sides of this story. But then again, I only know about a fraction of what’s going on behind the scenes. I get reports from the media about interviews they had with people talking about what happened between other people. So really, it’s a game of “he-said, she-said” being translated through two separate games of “telephone”. (That’s how messages like, “Meet me for coffee at 3.” Get turned into, “Purple elephants are flying over Wyoming.”)

All I know is that with all the exposure this case has garnered, I think this is going to get a lot uglier before it gets any better.

I feel really bad for the other students at teachers at the school who had nothing to do with this, that are probably getting poked and prodded about it by everyone they know.

Talk about a classroom distraction…

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