A mother in Mobile, Alabama, is reasonably pissed off after E.R. Dickson Elementary School had her 5-year-old sign a contract stating she would not kill or injure herself and/or others after pointing a crayon at another student and saying "Pew pew."
Rebecca, who did not provide her last name, was shocked when school officials sent her daughter Elizabeth home early after an altercation, having the child sign off on a suicide evaluation questionnaire which assessed "Past thoughts of hurting self," "Current thoughts of suicide," and "Frequency of suicidal ideas" among other things. Elizabeth was able to write out all nine letters of her first name (great job, kiddo!), but her signature, which may as well have been a smear of Spaghetti-Os, is not legally binding. YOU. DON'T SAY. And all this was done without the consent of Rebecca. Via WPMI-TV:
"This isn't right. She's 5-years-old," said Rebecca… "Most of these words on here, she's never heard in her life."
"They told me she drew something that resembled a gun," said Rebecca. "According to them she pointed a crayon at another student and said, 'pew pew,'' said Rebecca…"[They] Asked her if she was depressed now…"
"My child interrupted us and said, 'What is suicide mommy? Daddy what is suicide?" said Rebecca. "As a parent that's not right. I'm the one should be able to talk to my child and not have someone else mention words like this in front of her at all."
According to Rebecca, E.R. Dickson Elementary requested that Elizabeth see a psychiatrist. Okay. Obviously it's important to discourage violent gun behavior. But pointing a crayon at someone and saying "Pew, pew," even if the five-year-old child said it really aggressively (Try saying pew pew as seriously and aggressively as possible. It's so fun), does not strike me as homicidal or suicidal behavior.
I don't understand the reasoning behind making the 5-year-old sign something she very clearly does not understand, but I am just going assume that it was a gross overreaction. The school has yet to comment on the matter. There's nothing like inundating a child with paperwork and unfamiliar concepts that remain unexplained and completely bypassing an potential important lesson for the little girl, rendering the idea of education completely kaput.
Image via WPMI-TV.