Right decision on a needless suspension -- Gazette.Net


If you follow baseball, you probably have an opinion on whether umpires should use instant replay to help make controversial calls. Some fans have faith that video cameras can reveal what the human eye cannot, ensuring an out is an out, or a fair ball is a fair ball. Bad calls could be eliminated.

Some purists say humans make mistakes, and that’s part of the game. The purists have a point, if for no other reason, because the umpires’ decisions aren’t life or death. Baseball is a game.

It is, however, good to note that at Montgomery County Public Schools, a replay can change a bad call.

Rodney Lynch, a 6-year-old Silver Spring boy who attends Roscoe Nix Elementary School, was suspended, and then un-suspended, after making shooting gestures with his hand. That is, he extended his index finger like the barrel of a gun, extended his thumb like the hammer, pointed it at a playmate, and said, “Pow.”

His school record, which could dog the child during his time in public school, will be cleared, according to the family’s lawyer Robin Ficker. (The child’s name was provided to the media by his parents.)

Rodney’s suspension started on Dec. 21. Last Thursday, the school system notified his family they were striking the suspension.

When The Gazette reached the boy’s mother, Jeannie Lynch, she said the school didn’t say why the suspension was rescinded.

“I think this thing’s been blown out of proportion,” she said.


In a letter sent home on Dec. 20, the school wrote: “On Thursday, December 20, your son, Rodney, was involved in a serious incident. He threatened to shoot a student.”

This is a scary time, especially for school administrators. Rodney’s finger act came less than a week after the heartbreaking attack in Newtown, Conn. One can imagine that the adults at Nix Elementary were on edge.

Although no one would tell The Gazette affirmatively, one can safely assume someone reviewed the case — baseball’s equivalent of an instant replay — and decided that to equate pointing a finger with a real threat is ludicrous.

Rodney’s mom showed real wisdom when she said, “We all know index fingers can’t produce bullets.”