Caitlin Miller and several of her classmates were playing make-believe last week on the playground at McLauchlin Elementary School in North Carolina.
One of her friends was pretending to be a queen and another was pretending to be a princess. Caitlin was their protector. And in order to protect the Royals, she armed herself with a stick that resembled a gun.
Within a matter of minutes, the 5-year-old was snatched up by a teacher and sent to the principal's office—accused of a heinous offense.
She was promptly suspended for one day for "turning a stick into a gun and threatening to shoot and kill other students."
Brandy Miller, Caitlin's mother, tells me she was floored by the punishment.
"The assistant principal told me Caitlin had a stick and she was using it to shoot and kill other students," she said.
The folks who run Hoke County Schools mistakenly believe that a stick can fire projectiles—like bullets.
"Any student engaging in such behavior will be removed from the classroom or school environment for as long as is necessary to provide a safe and order environment for learning," the school district told television station WTVD.
Mrs. Miller said the entire incident has been blown way out of context.
"The school was really bothered because Caitlin was not worried about what she did," she said.
That's because sweet, innocent Caitlin seems to understand something that the grownups cannot comprehend—it was only a stick.
"We are a military family. My husband is an infantryman," she said. "My daughter understands the importance of gun safety. She understands the stick is not a real weapon."
Mrs. Miller said she had to sit down with her daughter and explain why her make-believe fun was against school policy.
"It was gut-wrenching for me. She's innocent. She's young. She should be five and have fun," she said.
The branch-packing 5-year-old served out her one day suspension and is back at school—a bit wiser to the lunacy of liberal educators.
Sadly, the slow-witted dunderheads who run Hoke County Schools honestly believe that a tree branch is just as deadly as an AR-15. When it comes to common sense, those North Carolina educators are firing blanks.
Todd Starnes is host of "Fox News & Commentary," heard on hundreds of radio stations. Sign up for his American Dispatch newsletter, be sure to join his Facebook page and follow him on Twitter. His latest book is The Deplorables' Guide to Making America Great Again.
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