is that a "realistic" two-inch gun in your pocket, or are you just happy to see me?

A fourth-grader on Staten Island was nearly suspended from school after his principal caught him playing with this Lego policeman toy during his lunch period.

It wasn’t the policeman that was the problem, of course: it was the two-inch Lego gun that he was holding. Since the Staten Island Dept of Education has a zero-tolerance policy for toy guns in schools, wee Patrick Timoney, holder of said Lego figure, was in some deep trouble.

Here’s the Dept of Education’s stance:

…all imitation weapons are prohibited because they are regarded as harmful to the school community. The principal can evaluate if the weapon looks realistic before considering suspension.

OK, great. But why is that the standard? Why is a “realistic” toy gun harmful to the school community?  Because a realistic toy gun LOOKS LIKE  A REAL GUN. It’s pretty hard to argue that the toothpick-sized gun pictured above is realistic. It’s bigger than the cop holding it, for one thing. It’s smaller than a bullet, for another. If any of Patrick Timoney’s classmates were actually intimidated by this bit of shoddy plastic craftsmanship, the school nurse would call to have their heads examined.

Enough with the disclipining kids for teensy toys and hippy hair. Back to work, people.

(picture cribbed from msnbc article cited above)