Officials from Roscoe Nix Elementary School (pictured) in Silver Spring, Md., suspended a student after he made a gun gesture with his hands and pointed it at a classmate, according to the Examiner.
The incident happened one week after the Sandy Hook shootings. The boy’s family received a letter from Assistant Principal Renee Garraway, telling them he was receiving a one-day suspension. He had also been spoken to on a previous incident.
Your son…was involved in a serious incident, the letter said. [He] threatened to shoot a student. He was spoken to earlier today about a similar incident.
While the school claims the boy threatened a classmate, the family’s attorney questioned their claim,”They won’t say what the similar incident is,” Robin Ficker told the Examiner. “It just shows the overreaction.”
Ficker says that the school should’ve met with the student’s mother before authorizing the suspension. “They could have called the mother in. They didn’t do that. They just said, ‘You’re suspended.’” Ficker also noted that the unknown reason for his suspension may come back to haunt the boy later on, “Five years from now, when someone in Montgomery County looks at his permanent record, they’re going to see that he threatened to shoot another student.”
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Ficker denied any malice on the child’s part.
“What they’re doing is looking at the worst possible interpretation of a young, naive 6-year-old,” he said. “This is a little child who can’t form the intent to do anything like that.”`
The family continues to fight the ruling, even though the suspension period has already passed. Montgomery County Public Schools spokesman Dana Tofig denied comment on the matter, though he did say that parents are kept informed of behavioral changes in their children.
“Generally, in an incident involving the behavior of our younger students, we will make sure that the student and family are well-informed of any behavior that needs to change and understand the consequences if the behavior does not change,” Tofig said. “And that’s especially true if the behavior is affecting the learning environment or how safe another student feels.”