By: Krystle Crossman
E.R. Dixon Elementary School in Alabama is in hot water with one mother after they reportedly made her daughter sign a suicide contract because of a drawing. The little girl had drawn a picture of a gun in crayon and it was pointed at another student saying “pew pew” on the drawing. They gave the young girl a piece of paper and made her sign it. It stated that she promised not to hurt herself or anyone else in the school.
When her mother, Rebecca, went to pick her daughter up from school after the incident she was furious with the way it was handled. She felt that her daughter didn’t even understand half of the words in the contract, especially “suicide” and “homicide”. Rebecca felt that the situation was handled very poorly on the school’s part and that they needed to rethink their methods after this incident. At five years old her daughter is just drawing a picture and not realizing the implications that it could have. She doesn’t yet know about school shootings and student violence.
Martha Peek, the superintendent of Mobile County schools in Alabama, stated that the teacher was just following the policy that the school district has about action to take when a student implicates that they may harm another person or themselves. She is currently investigating the incident. While the policy may apply to certain actions such as threats or violence was this really necessary for a five year old who was drawing a picture? Peek admits that if the time was taken to actually look at the situation for what it was and if the principal of the school had been involved before having her sign the contract they probably could have handled it in a different way. She has not yet met with the girl’s mother but says that she will have a meeting and will let Rebecca know that everything is being taken care of.
Have we become overly sensitive in schools? School shootings are more prevalent today than they used to be, but does that mean that conclusions must be jumped to every time a young student such as this girl draws a simple picture?