Has School Security Gone Too Far?

It’s the stuff urban legends are made of: A 10-year-old boy from Tennessee is bored out of his mind while eating lunch at his elementary school cafeteria, so he decides to chew off pieces of his pizza to resemble a gun. He then proceeds to wave the slice of pie around like it’s the real deal, and ends up getting being banished to the “silent table” for the rest of the semester.

Sound absurd?

Perhaps, but it’s also 100 percent true.

According to news reports, Nicholas Taylor will be dining in silence for allegedly using his teeth to form a pizza pistol and threatening other students sitting at his lunch table.

While some are calling the school’s punishment “too harsh,” administrators say they stand by their decision, and reveal that the boy initially lied about his involvement in the incident.

Meanwhile, the kid’s mother is irate that the school would even consider disciplining her child for such a frivolous act.

LeAnn Taylor tells local news reporters she feels the school’s reaction is “absolutely ridiculous.” She goes on to say that her son was just “playing around” and never threatened to shoot anyone.

“The kid across the table from him said it looked like a gun so he picked it up and started shooting it in the air,” LeAnn told local TV news reporters.

However, Rutherford County School District officials note that the boy isn’t being punished because he chewed a deadly weapon from an Italian entree. Rather, officials say he’s being disciplined because “some students reported he was making some threatening hand gestures and that he was shooting other kids at the table and they reported it to a teacher.”

Regardless of what really went down, district leaders say when it comes to guns, they don’t fool around.

“I realize some might say we are going overboard but the principal is just trying to use an abundance of caution and send the message that we don’t play about guns and it’s not something we joke around about,” the district’s spokesperson told news reporters.

Do you think the school went too far with its punishment?

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Michele Cheplic

About Michele Cheplic

Michele Cheplic was born and raised in Hilo, Hawaii, but now lives in Wisconsin. Michele graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a degree in Journalism. She spent the next ten years as a television anchor and reporter at various stations throughout the country (from the CBS affiliate in Honolulu to the NBC affiliate in Green Bay). She has won numerous honors including an Emmy Award and multiple Edward R. Murrow awards honoring outstanding achievements in broadcast journalism. In addition, she has received awards from the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association for her reports on air travel and the Wisconsin Education Association Council for her stories on education. Michele has since left television to concentrate on being a mom and freelance writer.