This is true. According to the Denver Post online story, the second grader threw the “pretend grenade at an imaginary box that had something evil inside.” And he was suspended because of the school’s existing policy that forbids any weapons, real or imaginary, on school grounds. Not surprisingly, the child is confused since he, in his imaginary game, was fighting evil and saving the world from it by defending good.
This story struck me because of the irony of it. Trust me, I’m as politically correct as they come. But I’ve not only raised a son who played imaginary games pitting good against evil, but I did the same exact thing as a kid. Growing up on the heels of the Vietnam War, war was in my childhood vernacular. I was also wedged between brothers and we played a lot of war games. And there were plenty of pretend hand grenades involved, as well as imaginary flame throwers, land mines, tanks and other horrible weapons of war.
But, hey, we were the good guys. And we always won. Always.
Given all of that, I’ve managed to grow up to be a pacifist.
My overriding concern in this ongoing debate over gun control and the right to weapons possession is without question for the children. But even I have to step back and wonder if we’re not guilty of doing more damage than good by our overprotectiveness.