Gunpowder Elementary: 'We Didn't Take Away Rock-Paper-Scissors'

The Perry Hall elementary school principal responded to concerns over kids playing the popular hand game.

An incident in a Gunpowder Elementary School classroom over kids playing rock-paper-scissors had been "taken out of context," Principal Christine Smith said.

Perry Hall Patch columnist Stacey Schantz on Tuesday wrote that her child was reprimanded for playing rock-paper-scissors at school because the popular hand game involves saying the word, "shoot," which caused concerns among administrators. Schantz was volunteering at the school when administrators addressed the game with students.

Schantz wrote: "I agree that kids shouldn't be bringing weapons into school, and I want nothing more than to guarantee that my son is 100 percent safe the entire time he is in school. And yes, they are young enough to re-learn the game and say 'Rock-Paper-Scissors GO,' instead. But isn't this kind of ridiculous?"

The column——generated a passionate response from community members.

Smith confirmed on Tuesday afternoon that the incident occurred at Gunpowder Elementary School last month.

According to Smith, the school was reviewing school safety in September, in light of the Perry Hall High School shooting and other threats.

At the time, a kindergarten teacher was concerned about children smashing the hands of others while they played rock-paper-scissors. In response, the teacher discouraged the children from hurting each other and suggested replacing the word "shoot" with the word "go" in the game, according to Smith.

"The teacher suggested they change the word to another word. It was because they were hitting each other," Smith said.

Smith said that while speaking to the kindergarten class, she used the rock-paper-scissors incident as an example to promote school safety.

She emphasized that the school had not banned the game and no child had been formally disciplined for playing it.

Smith said the teacher's suggestion that children change the words was "innocent."

"We're not banning words. We didn't take away rock-paper-scissors," she added. "It's a popular children's game."

Stephanie Shock October 09, 2012 at 08:54 PM
You can't guarantee your son is 100% safe at any time in his life, anywhere he goes.
Renee October 10, 2012 at 01:49 AM
Ummmm.... Let me get this straight... 'At the time, a kindergarten teacher was concerned about children smashing the hands of others while they played rock-paper-scissors. In response, the teacher discouraged the children from hurting each other and suggested replacing the word "shoot" with the word "go" in the game, according to Smith.' "The teacher suggested they change the word to another word. It was because they were hitting each other," Smith said.' So the teacher took the word 'shoot' out of the game thinking they were not going to smash each others hands? Really?!!! Does this sound ridiculous to anyone else? I do not think anything was taken out of context, I think they are trying to figure out an excuse for what the teacher suggested and cannot come up with a plausible one!
JohnJ October 10, 2012 at 11:25 AM
I have no problem with them changing the word at all , and I think Stacey should get off her high horse. This is an article that shoul have never been written. Is she going to write one every single time her child is repremanded? The Patch is for news, and this is not news!
Jenny October 10, 2012 at 11:33 AM
Thank you to the teachers and the administration for trying to do the best they can in a tough environment. The teachers at Gunpowder are top notch and we should thank them for caring for our kids.
Tim October 10, 2012 at 01:08 PM
Dear John : Did you play rock paper scissors as a kid in elementary school? Did you play mercy with your friends? Did you play football with bigger kids at recess? Outside of being a sheep, have you turned out to be a properly functional adult in society with no violence or criminal record? That's the point here. See, this issue is honestly bigger then Gunpowder. Remember, they aren't a private school. This issue has been improperly framed, as their policies are BCPS ones. Because a handful of people with close ties to the school got their knickers in a bunch over a minor, minor discussion, drama ensues. Pretty hilarious that it was MEN who ramped up the drama and insults. Embarassing, really. Attacking a female reporter who had a first hand experience and deciding that it was an interesting discussion topic. I think this was definitely news, so our opinions now cancel each other out.
Renee October 10, 2012 at 01:48 PM
High horse? Really?! I think people should be informed of stuff like this! This is news because it affects our children! If you want to get technical, let's relate this to a violation of free speech! And then the principle's explanation as to why she did it?!!! The teacher's explanation was way more honest!!! And you know what, I was a victim of violence having a gun held to my head and I do not believe this game helped encourage it!
Renee October 10, 2012 at 01:53 PM
I agree Jenny, and I do appreciate the teachers. I don't agree with it, but than again, I don't have to, that's not the point. Am I getting tired of always having to be politically correct? Yes! Just because the majority of the people in the U.S. have gone sue happy over the craziest things and the judicial system not only allows them, but rewards them?!!! BUT, I have more of an issue with the principal coming up with this ridiculous explanation after the teacher already explained why she did it herself.
John Doe October 10, 2012 at 01:53 PM
Renee - I completely agree - the reasoning for the change does not address the situation - I had to read her reasoning a few times to try to see how it would resolve the situation. It doesn't.
Paul Amirault October 10, 2012 at 01:55 PM
Since it has been commonplace for people to say "shoot" instead of "sh!t", I guess we now must say "go sh!t"? Or something like that. Aw, shoot!
Karrin Murphy October 10, 2012 at 01:58 PM
The issue needs to be left alone. If you think the teachers are good at their jobs then let them continue to do their jobs in peace.
Cody Sandhouse October 10, 2012 at 02:19 PM
Dear Tim, Please stop talking. Love, Everybody
John McLane October 10, 2012 at 05:17 PM
I think it is disgusting that you are comparing this matter to a high profile case of sexual abuse. Learn a modicum of moderation or don't comment.
Mike Fisher October 10, 2012 at 05:51 PM
Seems kind of silly to me. Typical overreaction, just saying the word "Shoot" is now bad in a game that has been around forever? Why is this even an issue? Humans are such bizarre creatures sometimes. Things like this have nothing at all to do with what happened at PHHS. It's like PETA attacking the Nintendo game "Super Mario Bros." because one of Mario's powerups is a fur suit, the Tanooki suit and claimed this encourages people to wear fur. This was a game made in the 1980's and last year, they made an issue out of it. It's just bizarre. Let kids play their games. I really am glad I'm not a kid in today's world.
John Doe October 10, 2012 at 06:04 PM
It is not comparison to that case, John. Its for the people who are upset why it was even questioned to begin with. I am not questioning the school in any way. Is it an extreme point, yes, but you miss the point, badly.
John McLane October 10, 2012 at 07:57 PM
John Doe, sir, you stated " see Penn State" in your comment above. That means, in the English language, "refer to". This denotes that you were comparing or referring to, the sexual abuse at Penn State. Please have a level of awareness of what you are trying to communicate before communicating.
Harry October 10, 2012 at 08:06 PM
Even if he didn't necessarily mean that, even bringing up the penn state stuff is kinda crazy! Its rock paper scissors!
Cody Sandhouse October 10, 2012 at 08:24 PM
how is this not a comparison? if wasn't a comparison, than what was it? cuz your rebuttal was crazy unclear! y even bring it up? it is just not even related!
John Doe October 10, 2012 at 08:28 PM
John, you need to get out more. Next time I will refer to a "low" profile case from Idaho to make a point.
Cody Sandhouse October 10, 2012 at 08:34 PM
dude! what about this lil sub argument that you guys are having seems like its about how high profile the case is?!! the fact that you brought it up at all is insane! even if you were talking about a "low" profile case of sexual abuse by teachers it would have been nuts!!
Tim October 11, 2012 at 01:11 PM
I think we're supposed to say unicorns now. Rock, paper, scissors, UNICORN.
Tim October 11, 2012 at 01:12 PM
Dear Cody: How many personalities do you have? Just wondering who you speak for.
J. Borden October 11, 2012 at 02:43 PM
Seriously Tim, you are wearing on the nerves of a lot of people. Are you quite done yet?


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