Third-graders cupcakes impounded for being topped with toy soldiers

A third-grade boy in Michigan brought in 30 homemade cupcakes for his birthday – each topped with green plastic World War II figurine soldiers.  The school secretary commented positively about them but then the mom got a different call.

The Daily Caller reports:

“About 15 minutes later the school called my wife and told her they couldn’t serve the cupcakes because the soldiers had guns,” Casey Fountain, the boy’s father, told Fox News. “My wife told them to remove the soldiers and serve the cupcakes anyway — and I believe she may have used more colorful language…”

In a statement to local media, Schall Elementary School principal Susan Wright Susan Wright doubled down on her school’s bold stand against little green men that represent American soldiers.

“These are toys that were commonplace in the past,” Wright said. “However, some parents prohibit all guns as toys. In light of that difference, the school offered to replace the soldiers with another item and the soldiers were returned home with the student.”

“Living in a democratic society entails respect for opposing opinions,” the principal also said. “In the climate of recent events in schools we walk a delicate balance in teaching non-violence in our buildings and trying to ensure a safe, peaceful atmosphere.”

The story goes on to list a bunch of other similar situations where kids were suspended or parents called due to seemingly innocent behavior by the kids that was perceived as violent or suggesting violence by the school’s administration.

On our school’s 100th Day of school I saw a little fellow bring in a poster board with 100 green toy soldiers glued to it and I wondered if he would get into trouble.  I’m not sure if he did but it wouldn’t have surprised me at all.

On a similar note, my 9-year-old was writing a school report and writing an art project about a historical non-fiction book. The book was about the bombing of Pearl Harbor and he was drawing bombs dropping on the fleet. I sent a note to the teacher to make sure that was OK. I’m not sure what else you would draw for the attack on Pearl Harbor. She never wrote back but he took it in and I didn’t get a call so I guess we were OK.

What are your thoughts on the cupcakes, 100th day of school or drawing Pearl Harbor? Would you have thought anything about sending in toy soldiers on cupcakes or otherwise? What would help school officials find a balance on this?

60 comments Add your comment

cornjolio

March 12th, 2013
6:27 am

Theresa,

What if the cupcakes had plastic Confederate soldiers from the Civil War on them.

Would a suspension or expulsion been in order ?

DB

March 12th, 2013
6:27 am

It’s interesting how ““Living in a democratic society entails respect for opposing opinions,” and yet, that respect does not go both ways. A little boy with toy soldiers on a cupcake has to hide his soldiers out of fear that someone else will be offended — and yet, he and his family should not be offended that there are people who look down their nose at a soldier and what they represent: a person with a critical job that few of us would seek, protecting our freedoms and historically making sure that we all don’t speak English with a British accent or that we don’t now speak German or Japanese. They are probably the same people who hypocritically clap for a soldier at an airport, and yet refuse to support the soldier doing the job set out by his command authority.

Political correctness sucks. So there. For a parent to have to feel threatened enough to ask a teacher if it’s ok to show bombs dropping on Pearl Harbor out of a fear of it being taken the wrong way is a sad indicator of just how STUPID this whole “Kum-Ba-Ya, let’s everyone be happy” routine has gotten. I mean, hello? The Japanese weren’t dropping origami cranes out of those planes!

And speaking of being offended, I fully expect that there are going to be people who turn their nose up at homemade cupcakes, out of being “offended” that the cupcakes were not purchased, fear of germs, sugar or whatever the latest nutritional boogeyman is today. People spend so much time being offended . . .

ww5

March 12th, 2013
6:28 am

What flavor were the cupcakes?

George

March 12th, 2013
6:35 am

People in the US don’t see how the worship of guns is everywhere, even on cupcakes! Movies, TV, Video Games, guns are everywhere. Maybe self reflection is difficult but maybe, just maybe it will make people realize they are in need of change. Looking at old movies, you see how cigarettes and cocktails were everywhere (see Mad Men), and now that life style would earn you an intervention ( and a few DWIs) and a stint in rehab. That change was not easy for people, but we as a society are better off for it.

Aggie

March 12th, 2013
6:44 am

It is quite a shame that while making sure you don’t speak with a British accent, you went ahead a butchered a perfectly good language. It’s also a shame that education is lacking so much that many people cannot tell the difference between their, there, and they’re, and yet teachers are worried about toy soldiers on a cupcake. It’s a sad situation.

10:10 am

March 12th, 2013
6:53 am

This comes on top of a similar incident this week of disciplinary action against a child who nobbled his lunchtime Pop Tart into the shape of a “gun’—and ended up having his day ruined by over-zealous adults.

One day tuition vouchers will solve this and far more weighty problems … by allowing each parent to to freely choose between competing schools and learning environments. The way they now do in choosing a college.

Mayhem

March 12th, 2013
7:05 am

Wussification of America continues.

hockey guy

March 12th, 2013
7:09 am

I swear there used to be a time where kids played with toy soldiers because American soldiers were their heroes (GI Joe anyone?) Now, we’re so screwed up that we’re all afraid of 1 inch plastic rifles made in Taiwan? OK China, did you hear that? You’re good to go, c’mon over.

catmom

March 12th, 2013
7:25 am

Honestly, I’m surprised the boy was allowed to bring cupcakes in the first place with all the food police out there–never mind the toy soldiers. What a sad story.

motherjanegoose

March 12th, 2013
7:28 am

What is now accepted and what is taboo makes me crazy! DB, I agree with you.

I read this in the paper last week in CO:
http://news.yahoo.com/colorado-parents-transgender-girl-contest-school-restroom-ban-041906423.html
SIX years old? Gender neutral bathrooms for Kindergarten?

Common Sense

March 12th, 2013
7:35 am

Why do you continue to send your children to these prisons/indoctrination centers? Don’t you care about them? How can you seriously know in your heart that everything they are doing is wrong and yet continue to subject what should be the most important things in your life to their system every day for the most important 12 years of their lives?

A story like this or much much worse appears in the paper EVERY DAY. This kind of insanity is happening all over the nation and yet, despite the plethora of homeschool curricula available on the internet, homeschooling groups in virtually every town, many households with only one parent currently working, and most importantly, precious children being subjected to this brainwashing insanity, a vast majority of parents willingly continue to imprison their children in these institutions day after day.

What is it going to take before parents wake up and realize that as long as they allow the government to have control over their children and their upbringing, things in this country are never going to get any better? Things certainly are never going to get any better in these government prisons.

MomsRule

March 12th, 2013
7:37 am

I think it is sad that you not only considered the school having an issue of Walsh drawing bombs dropping on a Pearl Harbor project but also felt compelled to send the teacher a note.

Well said DB. I agree with every word you’ve written.

I saw the article about the cupcakes days ago. I do not understand why it is ok to restrict the freedoms and offend the general population so that just a very small few are not offended. People need to stop crying over every little thing and adapt. You are worried about toy soldiers on cupcakes? Really? That’s the biggest issue the school faces? Time well spent principal. Time well spent.

If other parents don’t like it … so WHAT?! Use it as a teaching moment for your own kids. The world will not adjust for you. You should adjust to the world.

I’d be willing to bet no one would have thought twice about those cupcakes had the principal not created the drama. It is doubtful little Billy would run home and say “MOM, there were guns on the cupcakes today.” Nope, he is going to say “MOM, I had a cupcake!”

I worry for our future. This ridiculousness is way out of hand

MomsRule

March 12th, 2013
7:48 am

@MJG, I saw that article the other day. MA policy allows for all students to pick their own gender and use whichever restroom and locker room they like….Schools are starting to make modifications to allow for this … in one situation a school added a curtain to a locker room so the student with the penis that identified himself as a girl could change comfortably in the girls locker room, for example.

The Massachusetts Commissioner of Education policy states: “The school policy mandates that students be allowed to use whichever restroom and locker room they choose as long as they contend they prefer to identify with that gender.”

MomsRule

March 12th, 2013
7:50 am

@TWG … I commented on today’s topic (prior to my 7:48 post). It hasn’t shown up. (This happens a lot.)

motherjanegoose

March 12th, 2013
8:09 am

@ Common….mine are just about out the door from college. They both attended public school and I felt they had a good education. I am an educator and never, for one minute, thought I could homeschool. There are those who can do an excellent job at it but, to me, they are few and far between. Private school, is a better option. Many of those, who homeschool, could have a job and pay for private schooling. I appreciate those who realize that it is important for your children to see and hear lots of different things, not just your own opinion under your own umbrella.

We have had great discussions with our two, on how and why things are different in other families and neighborhoods. This has helped them, when they became employees.

Certainly, teachers are frustrated with what is being handed down. I also know that each school and district is different and what happens in one area does not happen in all.

Mayhem

March 12th, 2013
8:14 am

No way could I have home schooled. I need to interact with people my own age, LOL. I’m too social to be couped up in the house all day long “teaching” the kids. I need a break from the kids. I need a job outside the home…..

But that’s just me. Now before anyone jumps all over my comments, please be aware my kids are in their 20’s and two are in college part time.

MiltonMan

March 12th, 2013
8:15 am

I assume that the teacher has all but forgotten that the only reason that the good ‘ole USA exists as a free country was due to a war.

MiltonMan

March 12th, 2013
8:17 am

Yes good that the education nazis in this country are more concerned about plastic soldiers than say the 80% of recent NYC HS graduates that can barely read.

motherjanegoose

March 12th, 2013
8:21 am

@ Milton…actual teachers tend to be concerned. I talk to them all the time and they just want to do their job. Teaching is not what it used to be. I hear this all the time.

BlondeHoney

March 12th, 2013
8:25 am

Mayhem, I am with you 100%. As I read the comments, my thoughts are don’t blame the schools for something like this…look squarely at your peers, the other parents who are doing the complaining because THEY are the ones to blame. If they didn’t complain or threaten to sue, schools would not need ridiculous rules like this. And my kids received an outstanding public school education.

Techmom

March 12th, 2013
8:38 am

Ridiculous on both accounts! How are plastic 1″ toy soldiers harmful?? Maybe if the teachers and administration quit worrying about inconsequential stuff and focus on education, we wouldn’t be falling to the bottom of the barrel when it comes to education.

TWG, there is no reason you should feel concerned about your son portraying a REAL WORLD event! Are public schools going to stop teaching history because they’re afraid of it?

a_mom

March 12th, 2013
8:46 am

There is a huge distinction between glorifying violence (like gangsta rap music) and American soldiers who lay down their lives to protect us. It’s so idiotic that no one wants to make that judgement call but instead lump it all together. Years ago, children were taught to respect and look up to American soldiers.. They should be among their heroes, not stupid sports figures who are covered in tatoos, can’t speak the English language, have babies out of wedlock and in trouble with the law.

In light of all the stories lately about kids being suspended for making finger guns, nibbling pop tarts into a gun shape, and even a kindergarten girl suspended for talking about her Hello Kitty gun that blew bubbles (she didn’t even have it with her), I worry about my 7-year old boy getting in trouble because he loves Power Rangers and might imitate them shooting at Nylocks (who are evil) on the playground.

For Theresa to have to worry whether Walsh would get in trouble because he’s depicting something that actually happened in history is a testament to how insane it’s become.

Kris

March 12th, 2013
8:55 am

@DB and @MiltonMan —- amen and amen!!!

Raisin Toast Fanatic

March 12th, 2013
8:59 am

It’s also a shame that education is lacking so much that many people cannot tell the difference between their, there, and they’re

Who fvcking cares?

Decatur Guy

March 12th, 2013
9:18 am

A kid got suspended for biting a pop tart in the shape of a gun in Maryland. We are doomed as a nation.

Decatur Guy

March 12th, 2013
9:19 am

” What would help school officials find a balance on this?

Fire them all.

Decatur Guy

March 12th, 2013
9:21 am

“What are your thoughts on the cupcakes, 100th day of school or drawing Pearl Harbor? Would you have thought anything about sending in toy soldiers on cupcakes or otherwise?”

Most kids probably don’t even know what happened at Pearl Harbor. In NYC, 80% of graduates from public schools can’t even read.

Decatur Guy

March 12th, 2013
9:22 am

Libs never have a problem with gangsta rap, violent video games or movies , but bring a cupcake to class or chew a pop tart in the shape of a gun and the left goes nuts.

homeschooler

March 12th, 2013
9:23 am

What I don’t understand is that I have NEVER heard one person defend these insane rules. The boy who was suspended for pretending to throw a hand grenade into a box of pretend evil. PRETEND. The boy who made the pop-tart into the shape of a gun. (he actually said he was trying to make it into a mountain but, even if he was making it into a gun….SO). The boy who accidentally brought a gun to school, noticed, and went directly to the teacher with it so he wouldn’t get in trouble and STILL got suspended. NOBODY is okay with this so why does it continue to happen?
It puts parents in a very bad place. When my kids complain about their teachers, I defend their teachers. I know that they are good people who have similar values to ours. I know that they might not always do things how I would but I can appreciate them and their jobs and I like for my kids to know that we are a united front. If my son was in one of the above situations it would be very difficult for me not to say. “Your school is just stupid.These are stupid rules that lack common sense but you have to listen, because, well, you just do”. So now my child has no respect for the school or his teachers.

Another thing I don’t get is that these kid play with guns CONSTANTLY at home. Air Soft, Paint Ball, Nerf, video games. Even the most hovering moms I know allow water pistols, Nerf guns and light sabers so how are these kid supposed just turn that off when the go to school? So much so that even playing guns with their hands on the playground is grounds for suspension.

As a side note, my child’s history teacher is an ex-Army Ranger. His hall passes are old hand grenades. The kids love him and respect him. My kids have both studied Pearl Harbor and both drew pictures depicting bombs. I never had to even wonder if this was okay. SO wrong that Theresa had to.

Why are the parents not standing up against this? Where are the parents who defend this insanity?

homeschooler

March 12th, 2013
9:26 am

I agree Decatur Guy.. Gangsta rap is considered art.
btw…do you REALLY live in Decatur? Liberal capital of Atlanta. :-)

FCM

March 12th, 2013
9:29 am

This is what happens when the people refuse to rise out of the muck of mediocrity. Oh Dave Slater, how the childern of America need you now.

DB and 10:10 AMEN to your comments.

FCM

March 12th, 2013
9:30 am

yes I can spell children…sorry for the typo

Decatur Guy

March 12th, 2013
9:31 am

homeschooler

Yeah, I do. It’s really not that big of a deal because the brain deads who live there are in the minority with the rest of the state. I can laugh and mock their views all day long and there isn’t a thing they can do about it. They’ll act high and mighty but in the end, their views are not the law of the land. I can talk gun support etc and they can’t do a thing about it.

Decatur Guy

March 12th, 2013
9:32 am

The left is firmly against gun ownership until they have one pointed at them.

Decatur Guy

March 12th, 2013
9:33 am

“I assume that the teacher has all but forgotten that the only reason that the good ‘ole USA exists as a free country was due to a war.

Nah, they just ignore that fact. If it weren’t for guns, America would not be here.

Decatur Guy

March 12th, 2013
9:35 am

“The story goes on to list a bunch of other similar situations where kids were suspended or parents called due to seemingly innocent behavior by the kids that was perceived as violent or suggesting violence by the school’s administration.”

Kids get killed in Chicago on an hourly basis but libs blame guns instead of the criminals/gangs that commit the crimes. Folks like Jesse Jackson have been making millions off this stuff for decades. Pretending to care and then profiting off the publicity.

Mildly dis-interested

March 12th, 2013
10:02 am

Moral of the story: Next time use Plastic drones with Obama stickers

HB

March 12th, 2013
10:03 am

I think it’s funny that people are bemoaning that Theresa “had to” worry about the Pearl Harbor project at the same time. We all know Theresa is a worrywart (no offense, T). Every other time she gets worked up about something, she’s berated for it, but when she frets about the Pearl Harbor project, it’s someone else’s fault? Whose? She didn’t say that she had seen other projects sent home or that her kids’ school seemed hypervigilant in making sure no mention or depiction of violence was ever present in their students’ lives.

I live in an area where most people I know don’t let kids play with toy guns at all, so I’m not surprised the cupcakes were an issue at school. Those little green army men are in combat poses; toy soldiers that aren’t shooting at anything would have been a better choice for a school party. The problem is the toys would have been given to the children at school with the cupcake. They weren’t merely present; they would have been handed out. I think the school handled it appropriately. They chose not to give children the toys with the cupcakes, offered to replace the soldiers with another item, and did not punish the child who brought them in.

As for the stupid poptart incident, parents are standing up and going straight to the press, which then reports these small local stories in national outlets. Then folks get all worked up about the PC police when it was really just a stupid call by a stupid principal in one school.

catlady

March 12th, 2013
10:10 am

I think it is for some of us the wish that we NOT glorify war. Not saying war has not helped us, but that having CHILDREN “play” war is disturbing to some of us. When my son (and daughters!) were little we had no toy guns in the house, No water guns. My son got a big wheel toy with guns on it and we sawed them off. No violent video games, either. I feel strongly that I don’t want my kids looking upon guns as “the SOLUTION.

Now, did we have guns? Yes. Ever use them? Not that I remember. Fortunately we live in a time of abundance. When the Bad Times come, will we need those guns? Probably. But NOT as PLAY!

I also did not let children bring toy guns to my room at school. Turns out I was ahead of my time. I started this ban when I started, in 1973,

Have you noticed that so many of the big gun nuts NEVER SERVED A DAY FOR THEIR COUNTRY?

Aggie

March 12th, 2013
10:13 am

Raisin Toast Fanatic – anyone working in a professional setting would care. I care that my children can not only speak correctly, but can also write correctly. I want to ensure my children have every advantage possible to succeed in life.

You may not care, and that is nothing more than a reflection on you.

Ghostrider

March 12th, 2013
10:25 am

@Mildly dis-interested

LMAO ….. You made my morning.

Decatur Guy

March 12th, 2013
10:43 am

“Have you noticed that so many of the big gun nuts NEVER SERVED A DAY FOR THEIR COUNTRY?

Have you noticed that so many of the big gun nuts SERVED THEIR COUNTRY?

Decatur Guy

March 12th, 2013
10:44 am

” When my son (and daughters!) were little we had no toy guns in the house, No water guns. My son got a big wheel toy with guns on it and we sawed them off. No violent video games, either. I feel strongly that I don’t want my kids looking upon guns as “the SOLUTION.”

It must suck to be your kids.

Mayhem

March 12th, 2013
10:56 am

Pretty soon you won’t be able to say “Bang” in schools…..

Decatur Guy

March 12th, 2013
11:03 am

Liberal worldview:

Waterboarding = bad Drone Strikes = good

Plastic soldiers = bad Violent video games/movies = good

Common Sense

March 12th, 2013
11:05 am

Have you noticed that US soldiers no longer actually defend the United States anymore, but rather serve the US empire and its oligarchy of special interests consisting of the military-industrial complex, the oil industry, the criminal banksters, and the embedded bureaucracy? And while our soldiers are off serving the empire and its benefactors, our elected “leaders” sit at home destroying our freedoms and our liberties that so many claim our soldiers are protecting?

Its one thing to be proud of the folks who fought the Revolutionary War to free us from the British, it is another thing entirely to be proud of the wars we currently wage against so many other sovereign nations around the world.

Just saying.

jarvis

March 12th, 2013
11:23 am

What a bunch of puzzies.

As an FYI, Toy R Us sells some really great buckets of old school army men. They make cleanup a breeze. My boy loves them (he turns 6 on Saturday). They come in traditonal army (green and tan teams), cowboys and indians, police and firemen, and some sort of knights/viking thing.

They are a hidden gem. We buy the buckets there and then add to his collection at the dollar store.

Decatur Guy

March 12th, 2013
11:27 am

“And while our soldiers are off serving the empire and its benefactors, our elected “leaders” sit at home destroying our freedoms and our liberties that so many claim our soldiers are protecting?”

Hard to argue against that.

Theresa Walsh Giarrusso

March 12th, 2013
11:47 am

MJG — I wanted to run that story about the little girl but I was so afraid people would be so mean about it and I just didn’t want to see all the mean comments about the child.

Theresa Walsh Giarrusso

March 12th, 2013
11:49 am

I too was surprised they were letting the child bring in homemade anything — we can’t at our school.