NORBORNE, Mo. – Seven-year-old Zane Falke was proud of the souvenir shell casing he received at a September 11 VFW remembrance ceremony.
Fox 4 reports Zane’s school determined he violated its weapons policy and the boy had to be punished.
“Falke says they told Zane he could be suspended from school for 10 days, but instead gave him a silent lunch where he sat by himself, and missed two recesses,” the news station reports.
The boy’s mother, Sherry Falke, says he came home “crying hysterically.”
“In today’s society, unfortunately, we do have to be concerned with those types of things in schools,” said Dr. Roger Feagan, the superintendent of the Norborne R-VIII School District, tells Fox 4.
“Though this seems minor, if we don’t handle the minor things, they can unfortunately escalate into major things down the road.”
“Had he brought a war medal to school, would he have been punished?” Zane’s mother wondered. “They also passed out American flags to all the kids, if he brought that to school would he have been punished?”
The principal said no, but he wouldn’t change the punishment.
“We didn’t want anything to lead to anything further with that student or think that was OK to bring to school,” Feagan says.
Zero tolerance policies have snared other innocent children in the recent past.
Last year, an Ohio student was suspended for three days after the 10-year-old pointed his finger at another student in class and pretended to shoot, according to CNN.
Seven-year-old Josh Welch bit his Pop Tart supposedly into the shape of a gun.
Fox 45 reports the school was so concerned, a letter was sent home to parents alerting them to an in-school “disruption.”
Welch, who suffers from ADHD, was suspended for two days.
A Pennsylvania kindergartner brought her Hello Kitty bubble gun to school and threatened to shoot herself and a friend … with some highly dangerous bubbles.
The five-year-old was suspended for 10 days for making “terroristic threats,” according to WNEP.
These likely won’t be the last cases of zero tolerance policies gone wild.