An after school teacher at Hyannis West Elementary gave 5-year-old Joseph Cardosa’s parents a written warning last week after Cardosa crafted a gun out of Legos and taunted other students with it during the program. The news shocked some Patch readers who felt the warning was an overreaction.
Today, superintendent of Barnstable Schools Dr. Mary Czajkowski released a statement explaining why the teacher felt the warning was a necessary step.
Czajkowski said in her statement that a teacher witnessed Cardosa making the Lego gun and saw him taunting other students with it while mimicking gunshot sounds.
“The teacher calmly and repeatedly explained to the student that the behavior was inappropriate and asked the child to stop, but the behavior continued,” Czajkowski said in her statement.
The parents were notified of the incident after dismissal and asked to sign a written account. The account included a warning that should this type of behavior continue the student could face suspension from the program.
Czajkowski also noted that the teacher and school principal were following school and district policy.
“This incident is not about the objects that children choose to construct out of Lego blocks. As educators, we encourage students to express their creativity. Rather, the matter was treated seriously and appropriately due to the child’s behavior toward other children and refusal to stop when told to do so by a teacher. No child has been suspended from this incident. Rather, the family was notified about potential consequences if the inappropriate behavior continued, in keeping with the school’s safety and conduct protocols,” Czajkowski said in her statement.