There is an early nominee for most insane overreaction of 2020: Administrators at a Pennsylvania elementary school brought in the police after a six-year-old girl with Down syndrome pointed a forefinger at her teacher and pretended to shoot her.
Margot Gaines now has a police report on her record, and the girl’s mother, Maggie Gaines, has accused Valley Forge Elementary School of bungling the November incident.
Maggie Gaines told CBS3 this week that her daughter got frustrated, pointed a finger at her teacher and said: “I shoot you.”
“They went to the principal’s office and it was quickly assessed that she didn’t even really know what she was saying,” Maggie explained.
Gaines said the school contacted her and said district policy required them to report the incident to police.
“I was fine with everything up until calling the police,” Maggie Gaines said. “And I said: ‘You absolutely do not have to call the police. You know, this is ridiculous.'”
Margot’s family is now appealing to have the Tredyffrin-Easttown School District change the policy.
“She really didn’t understand what she was saying, and having Down syndrome is one aspect, but I’m sure all six-year-olds don’t really know what that means,” the mother said. “Now there is a record at the police that says she made a threat to her teacher.”
Maggie Gaines said authorities assure her that the record is confidential, but she still fears potential fallout for her daughter in the future. She raised the issue in a letter to the school board last month, saying that school officials are misinterpreting policy and state law.