School officials in Calvert County, Maryland have denied a request to expunge the suspension of the kindergartener who brought a plastic cap gun on a school bus last month and then wet his pants during a subsequent interrogation.
The refusal came in the form of a letter dated Friday, reports The Washington Post. The letter stated that the five-year-old “did bring a cap gun in his book bag.” It also charged that some other children were frightened and told school officials that they couldn’t discern if the orange-tipped cowboy-style gun was real or fake.
The unidentified kindergartener had brought the toy gun in his backpack because his friend had brought a water gun the previous day. He later told his mother that he “really, really” wanted his friend to see it. (RELATED: Kindergartener interrogated over cap gun until he pees his pants)
School officials at Dowell Elementary School in the town of Lusby proceeded to question the five-year-old for over two hours before finally calling his mother at 10:50 a.m. By that time, he had wet his pants (which the mother called highly unusual).
The Post notes that the principal — Jennifer L. Young, according to Dowell Elementary’s website — told the boy’s mother that things would have been even worse had the toy gun been loaded with caps. In that case, the school would have regarded the plaything as an explosive and called the police.
The original suspension handed down May 29 was for 10 days. After a disciplinary conference and the intervention of local attorney Robin Ficker, the suspension was reduced to three days.
School officials considered — and denied — the request to eradicate the punishment separately.
The boy’s mother (an otherwise unidentified teacher in Calvert County) expressed frustration that a seemingly serious offense for a look-alike gun will now be part of her son’s permanent record.
“I’m disappointed that we can’t bring an end to this,” she told The Post.
“Why would you do that to a five-year-old who brought an obvious toy?” the teacher added
It’s not clear how long the punishment will now remain a part of the five-year-old boy’s permanent record.
Ficker said the family will now appeal the request to expunge the suspension to the Board of Education of Calvert County.
School district officials had no comment about the decision.
The entire country has seen an epidemic of anti-gun hysteria in school settings involving things that somehow resemble guns but aren’t actually real guns. However, the state of Maryland seems to be some sort of epicenter for the phenomenon.
Last week, Anne Arundel County school district officials denied an eerily similar appeal to have Baltimore-area second-grader Joshua Welch’s suspension expunged. Welch is the eight-year-old kid who was suspended for two days in March because his teacher thought he shaped a breakfast pastry into something resembling a gun. (RELATED: Suspension over gun-shaped toaster pastry is now permanent mark on kid’s record)
Earlier this year, a six-year-old boy at Roscoe R. Nix Elementary School in Silver Spring, Maryland was suspended for making the universal kid sign for a gun, pointing at another student and saying “pow.” That boy’s suspension was later lifted and his name cleared. (RELATED: Pow! You’re suspended, kid)
A Maryland state senator introduced a bill designed to curb the zeal of public school officials who are tempted to suspend students in these cases. “The Reasonable School Discipline Act of 2013,” which was authored by Republican Sen. J. B. Jennings, apparently went nowhere in the legislature. (RELATED: ‘Toaster Pastry Gun Freedom Act” proposed in Maryland)