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Kids Suspended for Playground Game

April 6, 2000

SAYREVILLE, N.J. (AP) _ School district officials plan to review a ``zero-tolerance″ policy after four kindergartners playing ‘cops and robbers’ were suspended for making threats.

The Wilson School students received the three-day suspensions after the March 15 incident, in which the children pretended their fingers were guns and said they wanted to shoot each other.

Classmates overheard their comments and reported them to a teacher, who told the principal.

Principal Georgia Baumann followed school district policy on threats and violence and suspended the students.

``This is a no tolerance policy. We’re very firm on weapons and threats,″ district superintendent William L. Bauer said. ``Given the climate of our society, we cannot take any of these statements in a light manner.″

Bauer said he supported Baumann’s decision, although he understood why parents were upset.

He said the district would review the policy after one of the students’ fathers complained that officials overreacted.

``I understand there is fear and paranoia going on, but there has to be some rationale to it,″ the father, who did not want his child identified, told the Home News Tribune of East Brunswick in Wednesday’s editions. ``It was at a time when these kids were supposed to be playing. They don’t even understand what happened.″

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