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Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

Attention parents: Have your kids leave toy guns at home



toyguns.jpgParents and policy makers across Florida and the country have been on edge about guns at schools ever since the December mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Conn. Some want cops with guns on campus. Some want to arm teachers and principals. Everyone wants crazed gun-wielding killers as far away as possible.

Toy guns haven't been a big part of the discussion. But seeing as many look real, maybe they should be. And Schwarzkopf Elementary School in northern Hillsborough County might have started the conversation.

Schwarzkopf parents received a recorded message Friday morning reminding them that their children should, to paraphrase Johnny Cash, leave your toy guns at home:

"Good morning parents. Yesterday afternoon it was reported that a child had a gun in their backpack. Upon investigation by school staff and the sheriff that is assigned to our school, it was discovered that it was a toy. However, we do take all such claims seriously. Thankfully it was reported by a student who saw the toy in the child's backpack. To clarify, no such toys are allowed on school campus. Please encourage your child to report any inappropriate behavior to an adult so that we can intervene appropriately to ensure everyone's safety. Thank you for your continued support."

Hillsborough's student code of conduct states clearly that bringing any weapons, including toys, to school could be expelled. (That's not what's happening with this elementary student, district officials tell the Gradebook.) So just to reiterate the message: No toys are allowed on school campus. As for the real weapons, well, that's still a debate among the adults.

[Last modified: Friday, January 18, 2013 12:05pm]


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