Police called after girl, 6, with Down syndrome points a finger gun at teacher

The U.S. saw more mass shootings than days in the year in 2019; a depressing figure and one which should lead us all to ask what can be done to stop this violence.

It’s understandable that even a threat relating to a gun is perceived as highly dangerous.

But in Pennsylvania school administrators made the decision to call the police after 6-year-old student Margot who has Down syndrome made a gun finger at her teacher.

Now the Margot’s mom Maggie Gaines has gone public saying the school went too far after the incident which resulted in a police report being filed with her daughter’s name.

margot gaines pennsylvania school district
YouTube/CBS Philly

Maggie describes her daughter’s actions as harmless and said most 6-year-olds don’t really know what that means.

“It was very clear from the beginning that she didn’t understand what she was saying,” Maggie told CNN affiliate KYW.

Didn’t know what she was saying

“My daughter got frustrated and pointed her finger at her teacher and said, ‘I shoot you,’” Maggie added. “At that point, they went to the principal’s office and it was quickly assessed that she didn’t even really know what she was saying.”

But the school district said its policy still called for the police to be contacted.

Image result for Maggie Gaines Margot YouTube
YouTube/CBS Philly

“And I said, ‘You absolutely do not have to call the police. You know, this is ridiculous,’” Maggie said.

The concerned mom is now calling on the school district to update its threat assessment policy.

In a statement to the school board Maggie wrote: “Escalating such incidents is not only a waste of school resources but it also documents for local law enforcement, even the most minor infractions of childhood.

Image result for Maggie Gaines Margot YouTube
YouTube/CBS Philly

“What’s more, her personal information has also been recorded at our local police department, where it is noted, without any context to the situation or her disability, that she “threatened” her teacher.

‘Disproportionately disciplined’

“How or if this information will be used against her in the future, I can’t say for certain. What I do know is that students, like my daughter Margot, who have intellectual disabilities are disproportionately disciplined in school.”

The school district told CNN it agreed to review the safety practices after Maggie raised the issue.

There needs to be a greater understanding of a situation which involves a child with a disability.

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