According to his father, Paul Entingh, one moment the boy was "goofing off" with his friends in fifth grade science class, and the next the teacher was taking him out of the classroom invoking Ohio's zero-tolerance policy.
The offense? Nathan was "making his fingers look like a gun, having the thumb up and the pointed finger sticking out," said Entingh, describing the February 26 incident.
"He was pointing it at a friend's head and he said 'boom.' The kid didn't see it. No other kids saw it. But the teacher saw it," he said. "It wasn't threatening. It wasn't hostile. It was a 10-year-old kid playing."
The principal told the father his son was being suspended for three days for a “level 2 look alike firearm,” and that she sent notices home to parents for weeks. Entingh’s infraction wasn’t an isolated incident; the middle school principal is worried about an outbreak of play gunfights and even, the horror, paper guns.
CNN also reports that according to the state’s own statistics, 419 students were suspended and 38 expelled for “firearm look-a-likes.”
Earlier this year, the Obama administration released guidelines in an apparent effort to get local schools to calm down on zero tolerance policies. Unfortunately, the Obama administration’s concurrent anti-gun efforts have helped contribute to an environment where a middle school principal sees herself as fighting the scourge of children playing kids’ games.