Margot Gaines was not aware her actions would cause such a stir at Valley Forge Elementary School and the Tredyffrin/Easttown School District. She is only six years old and has downs syndrome, so when she pointed her fingers at her teacher in the shape of a gun and said, “I shoot you,” she didn’t know the cops would have to get involved, according to MSN.
Neither did her parents.
Maggie Gaines and her husband did not think this situation warranted the police being involved. She found it to be unnecessary.
“They feel they need to contact the police to find out if a student might have something else in the community they might not know about,” said Gaines, “All right, but my daughter is 6 and in kindergarten. Are you trying to tell me you think she’s out running around the rough streets of Tredyffrin doing something?”
In today’s climate, it would be deemed irresponsible of any teacher or school to ignore that and move on. The gesture set off a threat assessment required by the school district.
The district policy requires that the school calls the police when a situation like that occurs. Gaines’ outrage has brought this policy and threat assessment under fire and has it being questioned whether or not it is productive. Some feel as if the policy does more harm than good in preventing school shootings. Some feel as if the threat assessment is a cop-out, “as further justification for their move to call the police,” according to Margie Wakelin, staff attorney with the Education Law Center in Philadelphia.
Wakelin also feels as if the threat assessment targets kids with disabilities like Margot.
In the end, Margot was not disciplined by the school but the damage was already done. Her parents want this incident expunged and the policy to be changed to avoid a situation like this in the future.