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Interview: How kids process guns and punishment

SEATTLE — School administrators are taking the issue of gun violence very seriously, turning to suspensions to enforce their zero-tolerance policies.

In February, a Baltimore, Md., second grader was suspended for chewing a pancake into the shape of a gun and then making a shooting noise.

More recently, district administrators in Pasco suspended a student who was talking about guns, according to the Tri-City Herald. The boy’s father said his son was talking about toy guns that shoot foam arrows. The paper reported the district reversed the suspension after reviewing the facts.

Both instances address a larger issue, how are children processing these events and what lasting impacts do these punishments have on young minds.

Dr. Cora Collette Breuner, a physician at Seattle Children’s Hospital, shares her insight on the topic.

4 comments

  • Ernie

    Wonder how many children she's raised though it's not hard to figure out her left-wing political leanings. What a world, if you feel like nobodies listening to you go out and kill a bunch of people and the media will make you famous–what a way for a village idiot to improve his self image. Wake up folks, banning technology doesn't work, developing morals and giving kids a stable family life and good examples to follow will. You who want to trust the government should crack a history book–read about the Nazi's, about the Red Purge, in China, about Stalin's Russia and how they took the power to resist away from the people. Sad that history just keeps right on repeating itself.

  • Susan Wayton

    Sending this letter to both Seattle Children's Hospital & University of Washington School of Medicine:

    I just saw the Q13 Fox News broadcast, with Dr. Cora Collette Breuner talking about how parents and teachers can deal with children's fears, in this age of schools banning students if they even talk about guns, or chew a pastry into the shape of a gun.

    I feel that Dr. Breuner was very professional and correct when she spoke about how to discuss these emotional topics with young children…that is UNTIL she started talking about how "assault weapons should be absolutely banned, there should be no more than 10 magazines sold at any time" and other Second Amendment subjects that she was certainly NOT qualified to address.

    I do not want a someone who is not versed in the details of these political questions, even someone with an M.D., promoting her own personal views during a segment which supposedly was about the psychological heath of children. Would she have been comfortable promoting her own personal views on abortion, or birth control, or the federal budget, during this segment? I certainly hope not.

    I demand that you, as her "employer":
    1.) have a discussion with her about her responsibilities as a spokesperson of your organization, and how professionally inappropriate for her to be promoting her own views on these Second Amendment questions under the guise of "medical advice", and
    2.) issue a statement for publication to that affect to Q13 Fox.

    Susan Wayton
    swayton@gmx.com

  • JBL

    If I brought a gun into my place of employment illegally even once, working gun or not, I would be FIRED ON THE SPOT. Schools are not preparing minors for the outside world realistically regarding possession of deadly force outside the home. Only suspension for possession and not expulsion creates an atmosphere of gun tolerance

  • Connor Souza

    Being suspended over a pancake and a nerf gun, interesting what this country has come to these days. There is no reason for something that extreme to be given to a second grader for merely playing with his food. Also suspension over only talking about the nerf gun, so people are getting suspended for talking about toys now. Thats very odd. When i was in second grade there was a boy that would hit teachers and throw chairs, but he wasnt suspended. Also, a punishment that extreme for talking sounds like an infringement on the first amendment. I guess freedom of speech really doesnt exist in schools these days.

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