Speed Reads

Seriously?

A 5-year-old girl was suspended for pretending a stick was a gun on the playground

A 5-year-old North Carolina girl named Caitlin Miller was suspended for one day last week for playing with a stick she and her friends on the playground pretended was a gun. Caitlin's friends were playing queen and princess, and Caitlin, as the royal guard, picked up a stick so she could fend off imaginary attackers.

When teachers observed the game, they intervened. "One minute she's playing with her friends and the next her teachers are dragging her to the principal's office," said the girl's mother, Brandy Miller. "She's confused. Nobody explained anything to her." Caitlin's suspension note claimed she was "threatening to shoot and kill other students," a charge Caitlin says is not true.

Still, the school district stood by the suspension, commenting in a statement that it will "not tolerate assaults, threats, or harassment from any student." Watch Caitlin explain what happened — and see a picture of the stick in question — in the local news report below. Bonnie Kristian