School suspends first-grader over imaginary bow and arrow

The bow-and-arrow was imaginary. The punishment is real.

An Ohio first-grader was given a three-day suspension last week after he pretended to shoot a fellow student with a bow and arrow, WLWT reported.

“I have no tolerance for any real, pretend or imitated violence,” a letter from Principal Joe Crachiolo to the boys’ parents said. “The punishment is an out of school suspension.”

“I can’t stop him from pretending to be a super hero"

— Martha Miele

Matthew and Martha Miele told WCPO that their 6-year-old son was just imitating a Power Ranger during recess at Our Lady of Lourdes in Cincinnati on Thursday.

“The punishment is so severe in this it’s hard as a parent to try to make this a teachable moment for our kid so we can move forward in a healthy manner,” Matthew Miele said.

The first-grader was playing outside when a teacher noticed the act and told the principal, who then called the boy into his office, according to Miele.

“I think he’s a good principal,” the dad said. “I just think a bad decision was made.”

Martha Miele said Crachiolo called her Thursday at work to deliver the news.

“I didn’t really understand,” she said. “I had him on the phone for a good amount of time so he could really explain to me what he was trying to tell me. My question to him was, ‘Is this really necessary? Does this really need to be a three-day suspension under the circumstances that he was playing and he’s 6 years old?”

The Archdiocese of Cincinnati told WLWT it does not comment on disciplinary issues. The suspension went into effect Friday.

“I can’t stop him from pretending to be a super hero,” Martha Miele said. “I can’t stop him from playing ninja turtles. I can’t stop him from doing these things and I don’t think it would be healthy to do so.”

Matthew Miele said he and his wife try to encourage their child to use his imagination.

“I don’t see anything wrong with the way he was playing,” he said.