Liberty Planet Weblog

Fifth-grader searched, berated for paper gun in South Philly

Posted on: January 24, 2013

A South Philadelphia fifth-grader was searched and scolded in front of her class after trying to throw away a folded piece of paper shaped like a gun.

Melody Valentin told Fox 29 Tuesday that she pulled out a paper gun last week that was made by her grandfather the day before. She went to throw it away, but a boy saw it and called the administrators.

Melody’s mother, Dianna Kelly, said her daughter’s classmates at D. Newlin Fell School had taunted her child, calling her a “murderer.”

Fox 29 reports the young girl was berated in front of the class, threatened with the police being called and searched while the other children watched.

Ms. Kelly said her daughter has since been suffering from nightmares.

“Why did he threaten my daughter?” Ms. Kelly asked during an interview with The Daily Mail. “Why did he stand over my daughter and tell her that he should call the cops on her? Why did he try to scare her?”

Officials at the School District of Philadelphia told Fox 29 they were investigating and could not issue a comment.
Tensions have been high since the Sandy Hook Elementary School tragedy in Newtown, Conn., with many instances since where students are punished for carrying objects or making gestures that are shaped like guns.

Just last week, a Pennsylvania girl was suspended from kindergarten after she told another girl she was going to shoot her with her Hello Kitty toy gun.

A 6-year-old boy was suspended from his school in Silver Spring, Md., on Jan. 3 for pointing his finger at another student and saying “pow.”

Read more: The Washington Times

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