Some Ohio parents were flabbergasted last week when their six-year-old son was suspended for shooting an imaginary bow and arrow during recess.
Matthew Miele and his wife Martha were informed on Thursday that their son would have to stay at home for three school days because of the seemingly innocent act on playground.
Martha Miele told WLWT that she and her husband met with Principal Joe Crachiolo of their son's school, Our Lady of Lourdes in Cincinnati, but that he refused to budge on the suspension.
"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 six years old?'" Mrs. Miele said.
In a letter sent to parents after the Mieles went to the local news with their frustrations, Crachiolo explained himself, saying he'd previously asked students he's seen pretending to shoot each other to stop because such play is "not appropriate in a Catholic school,"
"We have signs up that encourage the students to live like a saint. That is what we are promoting and that is what we should be striving for," wrote Crachiolo in a letter to parents that Mr. Miele then posted to his Facebook page.
Messages left for Crachiolo by INSIDE EDITION went unreturned Wednesday afternoon.
Matthew Miele said he learned later that another first grader had also been suspended. Miele said he thinks Crachiolo is a good principal but that this situation simply went to far.
Now the family is hoping to turn the situation into a positive after, they say, the school failed to turn the incident on the playground into a "teaching moment."
Matthew Miele posted to Facebook Tuesday:
"Our Goal, moving forward, is to affect change in the school. No child should be suspended for shooting an imaginary bow and arrow, during non malicious play, with other children."