The Feb. 18 article “Mother criticizes handling of toy gun case in Alexandria” told an appalling story. Are adults running our school systems? The “perpetrator” was a 10-year-old who was showing off a toy, not threatening anyone. What happened to using common sense? Why not sit down with a child and say, “Playing with toy guns isn’t a good idea because some children may feel threatened. Why don’t you leave the toy gun at home tomorrow.” You know, act like an adult.

Calling in the police to arrest the boy was appalling and irresponsible. Being photographed, fingerprinted and given a Miranda warning would terrify many an adult. Think of what it can do to a child.

Morton Rubinger, Reston

I was shocked and amazed at the Feb. 18 front-page article “In schools, a pointed finger or toy gun can spell trouble.” Our society is caught up with fear, yes, but children don’t think like adults. Cops and robbers, cowboys and Indians, whatever you want to call “playing,” is now “threatening to harm self or others”? 

Children need to be in school to learn, not given a police record. Talk about overkill. The punishment is worse than the crime. What has happened to being given a warning?

Shirley Winn, Gainesville

In Virginia, we punish a young child for pointing a finger at another child, while we proclaim that it is perfectly legal to go shopping carrying a semiautomatic assault weapon.

Arnie Celnicker, Arlington