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Florida mom upset over water gun fight at school in light of recent school shootings

Posted at 4:01 PM, May 23, 2018
and last updated 2018-05-24 09:06:47-04

CAPE CORAL, Fla. — A Lee County mom kept her son home from school on Monday because she felt it was inappropriate for the school to allow children to have a water gun fight in the wake of recent school shootings.

The mother, who did not want to be identified because she didn't want to identify her son, said during a time when students are put through active shooter training, encouraging students to shoot what she calls water guns at each other is inappropriate.

The Lee County School District is calling them "squirt toys," and says they're not water guns.

"What is this? Put the fun back in the gun? I don't understand it. It completely contradicts everything they stand for," the mom said.

She said her son came home from Mariner Middle School recently and told her he would need money for a water gun fight on field day.

"This is completely asinine. I don't understand. They're telling us it's necessary to teach them there's no tolerance for guns. You enter the property, it's a gun free zone. Yet they're saying here's a gun, point it at me, point it at your fellow student and pull the trigger," she said.

She said she understands they're meant for fun.  

"But who knows what's going on inside these kids heads now-a-days. How do you know they're not fantasizing about the adrenaline rush of what if this is real?" she said.

She said given the timing of the Santa Fe school shooting and increased sensitivity in Florida after the Parkland shooting, this activity isn't appropriate.

"Any other day of the year, according to the Lee County School District code of conduct policy, there's no fake weaponry even allowed on school," she said. 

The Lee County School District spokesperson said they're not water guns, they're squirt toys or pool toys. He also said: 

"Field days are meant to be a reward for the students hard work during the school year. We encourage any parent who has concerns with certain school activities to contact their child's principal." Rob Spicker, Communications Coordinator at the Lee County School District said.

"You can't sugarcoat the world, but certainly when I take my son to school, I don't expect his teacher to hand him a play gun, empty water gun, a water gun, and say 'point this at me and shoot,'" she said.

She said she's also disappointed she wasn't notified that this activity would be part of field day, and was told other schools were doing this, too.