Boy, 7, Suspended for Playing Imaginary Game
By David Mitchell and Julie Hayden
LOVELAND, Colorado (KDVR) — A 2nd grader has been suspended from school in Loveland for a make believe game he was playing.
The 7-year-old says he was trying to save the world. But school administrators say he broke a key rule during his pretend play.
“I was trying to save people and I just can’t believe I got dispended,” says Alex Evans, who doesn’t understand his suspension any better than he can pronounce it.
“It’s called ‘rescue the world,’” he says.
He was playing a game during recess at Loveland’s Mary Blair Elementary School and threw an imaginary grenade into a box with pretend evil forces inside.
“I pretended the box, there’s something shaking in it, and I go ‘pshhh.’”
The boy didn’t throw anything real or make any threats against anyone. He explains he was pretending to be the hero. “So nothing can get out and destroy the world.”
But his imaginary play broke the school’s real rules. The school lists “absolutes” designed to keep a safe environment. The list includes absolutely no fighting, real or imaginary; no weapons, real or imaginary.
“Honestly I don’t think the rule is very realistic for kids this age,” says Alex’s mom Mandie Watkins.
Alex is like a lot of 2nd graders, perpetual motion. His mom says the little boy doesn’t understand why pretending to be a soldier was wrong. “I think that when a child is trying to save the world, I don’t think he should be punished for it.”
At least one other parent FOX31 Denver talked to agrees with her.
“That’s just a boy growing up,” says Elliott Orozco. “That’s what I did and I didn’t become a bad guy.”
Nevertheless, Alex will be playing at home rather than in the school yard because his mom says he’ll stay home until this can be worked out.