A Colorado second-grader has been suspended for pretending to play with a grenade during a make-believe game he called “rescue the world.”
The 7-year-old child, Alex Evans, was suspended from Loveland’s Mary Blair Elementary School on Friday after principal Valerie Lara-Black caught him pretending to play with an imaginary grenade on the playground.
Alex’s mother, Mandie Watkins, told the Denver Post that her son did not have anything in his hand and “made no threats to other people.” Lara-Black confirmed this as well.
According to Alex, he took an imaginary grenade and threw it at an imaginary box, which he pretended contained something evil inside. In Alex’s game, the box exploded and he saved the world.
“It’s called ‘rescue the world,’” Alex told FOX31 Denver. "I pretended the box, there's something shaking in it, and I go ‘pshhh.'"
"I was trying to save people and I just can't believe I got dispended."
While Alex’s game did not involve hurting another person in any way, school officials still say it violated one of Mary Blair Elementary School’s “absolutes.” These rules include no fighting, real or imaginary, and no weapons, real or imaginary.
According to the Denver Post, “a student is allowed two non-severe, non-suspension occurrences, and a third occurrence leads to a formal suspension. Every absolute that is broken following the first suspension automatically results in a suspension.”
While this would seem to imply that Alex may have broken one of the absolutes before, District Superintendent Stan Scheer would not discuss the boy’s disciplinary history with the Denver Post. He did, however, imply that there was more at play he could not discuss.
“There's a whole student side that we just don't talk about,” he told the Denver Post. “It's a bit one-sided with the parent's point of view.”
As for Alex’s mother, she remains critical of Mary Blair’s “absolutes” rule over imaginary grenades and other weapons.
“He is very confused,” Watkins told the Reporter-Herald. “I'm confused as well, so it makes it hard for me to enforce these rules when I don't even understand them.”