A Philadelphia fifth-grader who took a piece of paper to school that vaguely resembled the shape of a gun was reprimanded by administrators, and even searched, as her entire class looked on.
Melody Valentin's grandfather ripped a piece of paper, making it look like a gun, one night last week, she told WTXF-TV Philadelphia. She said she put it in her pocket and forgot about it, bringing it with her to school the next day.
When she went to throw the paper away in class, another student spotted it and told the teacher, who summoned a school administrator to the classroom.
While holding back tears, Melody told WTXF-TV that the administrator threatened to have her arrested. She said her classmates called her a murderer.
“He yelled at me and said I shouldn’t have brought the gun to school, and I kept telling him it was a paper gun but he wouldn’t listen,” she told the local broadcaster.
Dianna Kelly, Melody's mother, is so furious about the way administrators handled the situation that she said she might move her daughter to a different school entirely.
"Why did he threaten my daughter? Why did you stand over my daughter and tell her that you should call the cops on her? ‘You can be arrested?’ Why were you trying to scare her?” Kelly said.
She added Melody woke her up at 3 a.m. crying in the bathroom after having nightmares that the unnamed administrator was chasing her down a hall.
Schools across the nation have been on high alert since the massacre that left 20 school children and six adults dead at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn. Gun scares have become more common in the wake of the shooting.
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