The mother of a five-year-old Alabama girl is furious that a local school forced her daughter to sign a contract promising not to shoot her fellow students after the girl drew a picture of a gun in school.
The girl’s mother, Rebecca, told local media last Thursday that the school made her daughter sign a contract stating that she would not commit suicide or shoot other students because little Elizabeth drew a picture of a gun, then pointed her crayon at classmates and said, “Pew pew.”
School administrators called Rebecca and told her they were sending her five-year-old home because she drew the gun.
“While I was in the lobby waiting, they had my 5-year-old sign a contract about suicide and homicide,” the mother told the media. “There should be a different way to handle this situation.”
Rebecca also said that her daughter is so young that she didn’t even know what the words in the “contract” meant.
Martha Peek, Mobile County school system superintendent, said that the contract is intended to be a “safety contract” that administrators force kids to sign as punishment for certain types of behavior.
Peek said that the school’s counselor used the “safety protocol” when the girl’s teacher informed her of the incident. The procedure is used when “a student indicates they may be considering any actions such as hurting themselves or hurting someone else,” Peek said.
But Peek also noted that the situation might have been a bad fit for the “safety” policy. “I think if we had stepped back and looked at the situation and that others could have been involved–if the principal had known about it–we could have probably had some additional guidance,” she asserted.
Elizabeth’s mother agreed that the policy was ill-fitting and might need to be revamped. “If this is protocol, it needs to be looked at again,” she said.
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