Principal removes army men from 3rd grader's cupcakes. Right or wrong?

Story here.

Although I don’t necessarily agree that it was disrespectful to veterans, it was IMHO an unnecessary overreaction to harmless figurines.

Poll coming.

I’m shocked they allowed home-made cupcakes at school, and not at all surprised the toys were not allowed.

Really? Home-made cupcakes were a staple at my kids’ school although that has been about 10 years ago. I doubt very much that things have changed much around here.

I don’t think removing the toy soldiers was particularly right or wrong. Removing them was harmless and leaving them would probably have been harmless as well.

C) The principal was fucking stupid and should be replaced by someone with more sense.

The principal explained her position but I didn’t see any justification from the boy’s parents as to why the soldiers should have been allowed. Like Hogarth, I think either action was harmless, but if you’re going to make your kid’s cupcakes a national story you need to be able to present an argument. I think the dad was upset that the principal dissed their special little angel and decided to make a big deal about it.

I think the principal’s point was tenuous, but logical. No doubt a different parent would complain if the soldiers had been allowed. I wonder what would have happened if they used the ‘throwaway’ soldiers; the unarmed ones like the radio carrier and medic. Those were always the first to get the lighter fluid treatment at my house. Yes, third graders were allowed lighter fluid and matches in my day, provided we only played with them outside.

I agree, so I can’t vote in this poll. The principal’s action was reasonable, but it wasn’t the only action that she could have taken.

(On a side note, back 50 years or more ago then I was at high school, there were real firearms at my school – they were owned by the army cadet corps and air cadet corps. I don’t think any of us were traumatised by them. And, of course, ammunition was not stored at the school – if the cadets needed practice firing those weapons, they went to a rifle range to do so. But we – I was an air cadet for a year, so I can say “we” – did have drill practice using those old rifles.)

Many schools have banned homemade treats because so many kids are allergic to dairy or sugar or gluten or chocolate or peanuts or frosting or whatever, so parents have to bring in store-bought cupcakes, so the ingredient list is easily read so little Allergy Annie won’t break out in hives.

You didn’t offer an option for “deeply stupid”. :slight_smile:

I think the principal should get the minesweeper or the guy with the radio.

A search for “zero” or “tolerance” came with no results, but I still think there was little in the way of deep thinking on the part of the principal. Despite Connecticut’s tragedy, there is still a war going on. Soldiers carry guns, even if we don’t want to think about it.

Very little thinking was portrayed here.

Honestly in today’s world of zero tolerance, I’m shocked the kid wasn’t suspended or expelled.

I do think this was a non issue though. The dad overreacted, as did the principal.

I vote for overreaction by the principal and the parent. The only smart ones were the kids, who probably tossed the toy solider and ate the cupcakes.

This is why we can’t have nice things. The principal was stuck between pissing people off for allowing it or pissing people off for not allowing it. And since people are so hellbent on persecuting imagined slights in the media these days, it’s almost a coin flip choice.

While I think the principal was correct that “…some parents prohibit all guns as toys,” I think that’s an issue between the child and the parent. A responsible child will throw the forbidden toy/soldier gun out rather than take it home, and if she doesn’t, then she’ll have to answer to mom for her own actions. It’s not the principal’s job to enforce home rules at school, unless it’s on an IEP for a particular student.

And that was probably about as well as it could have been handled, really.

While allergies are a convenient scapegoat and the listed reason, there’s a secret reason, too. Teachers see dirty children who aren’t bathed often enough, turn in sticky homework and may have evidence of insect or rodent infestation in their school bags. And then they’re handed homemade treats with a beaming smile, and have to make a snap decision between food safety and crushing the heart of a child. Store bought treats at least mean there are basic hygiene processes in place wherever these things were made. Not so true of many homemade goodies, sadly.

Yes, our school banned homemade treats for sharing three years ago.

At what point in a child’s life do we explain that soldiers exist and they exist for a reason?

My reaction is that toys are generally not good cupcake toppers, especially used toys. Even brand new toys that have been freshly washed might be inappropriate food toppers. I know that toys are supposed to be non-toxic, but that doesn’t mean that they are good for sticking in frosting. I’d object to any toys on food treats, whether the toys in question are army men or those cheap jewelry items that are sold.

My experience with little kids is that slightly-used toys are among the *least *filthy things they’ll be willing to put in their mouths.

We now live in a country where kids have to receive “counseling” due to the horrific sight of a Pop-Tart chewed into the shape of a (gasp!) gun.

Nothing surprises me anymore.

I agree that there should have been a “deeply stupid” option, but barring that, I’ll go with “the principal was wrong.”

This makes the unwarranted assumption that there is a pool of eligible school administrator replacements with more sense.

I think there’s plenty of stupid to go around. The principal drawing a comparison between soldiers and the shooting at Sandy Hook is ridiculous. Yes, soldiers carry guns, they’re an absolutely necessary part of what they do, and as a society we often hold soldiers in a high regard. It just doesn’t make sense to venerate the concept of a soldier, but censor the images of them that contain guns. Even the most anti-gun people I’ve heard of don’t suggest that soldiers shouldn’t carry guns. I think it’s just beyond the pale to make a connection between soldiers and Sandy Hook just because of guns.

For the parents, it just doesn’t seem well thought out. Sure, I don’t blame them for not making the Sandy Hook connection, I would have at least not been surprised to see some sort of political controversy about the wars or whatever that just aren’t the sort of thing to put the kids in the middle of. Further, it’s just not a good idea to put toys on cupcakes because I’d also not be surprised if someone complained about how sanitary it is or a choking hazard. The kids would have enjoyed simple cupcakes just as much without any risk of controversy.