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How a Five Year-Old's 'Pretend Play' Resulted in a School Suspension

Katz: We've created a society where we overreact to everything.

(photo credit: Hector Guerrero/Getty Images)

Parents of a child in Modesto, California say they are upset that their 5-year-old son's "pretend play" resulted in him being suspended from school, and they want the disciplinary action removed from his permanent record.

The incident occurred Aug. 31, according to the boy's father, Ian Riley. Riley said he got a call from the school saying the kindergartner had refused to take off his backpack and, when asked why, said there was a bomb in it that would explode if he did so.

WIBC host Tony Katz contends that the school overreacted to the "threat" and that the child is unlikely to learn anything of value from the suspension.


The son got a one-day suspension. Do you think that does anything to the kid? Do you think the kid knows what the bloody world a one-day suspension is? You know what the kid knows? 'Yea, ice-cream all day.'

...You simply tell the kid, 'This isn't what you do.' But the school is going to have a zero-tolerance party. Do you think the kid is going to remember he had a suspension? The kid is going to remember that he watched TV all day.

How should the school have handled the situation? Click the link below to hear Tony's suggestion:

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