Another little boy has gotten in trouble at school for having something that represents a gun but isn’t actually anything like a real gun.
This time, eight-year-old Asher Palmer rolled up a piece of paper, called it a gun and pointed it at other kids, reports the New York Post.
Officials at the special-needs school in New York City which Palmer attended then expelled him.
The school is the Lang School, a ritzy private bastion which specializes in educating students with language difficulties. Annual tuition is $51,500.
“Asher is exactly the type of student Lang is supposed to be serving,” the boy’s frustrated mother, Melina Spadone, told the Post. “Why they did this doesn’t make sense.”
The principal at Lang, Micaela Bracamonte – who insists on calling herself the “head of school” – also reportedly informed school employees that eight-year-old Asher “had a model for physically aggressive behavior in his immediate family.”
Spadone isn’t sure who that model would be, but she said she imagines Bracamonte is referring to her husband, who was an American soldier during the Gulf War.
“I find it offensive and inappropriate,” the mad mom told the Post.
Spadone explained that her son, a first grader, fashioned the rolled-up piece of paper after he talked with his father about weapons used in the military.
Asher’s teachers didn’t take the piece of paper away. Instead, they just warned him not to point the menacing piece of paper at anyone.
Eventually, of course, he pointed the piece of paper at another kid.
School officials have also claimed that he declared that he would “kill” a girl, apparently in a separate incident. Consequently, Bracamonte alleged that the little boy had a “concrete plan” for killing another student.
Spadone suggested that her eight-year-old son likely wasn’t using the word “kill” literally.
Also, like the other kids at Lang, Asher has communication problems so he might have trouble getting his point across. Specifically, has been diagnosed with ADHD and speech issues.
The angry mother said she and her husband have spent almost $120,000 for tuition and one-on-one tutoring at Lang so far – in just five months – with the understanding that he would attend the school long-term.
“We did not invest $120,000 toward Asher’s success for a five-month period,” she vented at the principal in an email obtained by the Post. “It was understood, and, in fact, contractually agreed, that Asher would be returning next year.”
But Bracamonte informed her that the “use of pretend guns on fellow students and mention of killing” was enough to warrant the boy’s expulsion.
The principal, who has refused to speak to the press, also advised home-schooling for Asher.
Spadone works at a private equity firm. She and her husband are currently in the midst of a divorce.
Another parent with a child at the school told the Post that Asher relates to other kids “just fine.”
Asher himself seemed sad about the expulsion. “I like being with my friends,” he told the newspaper.
In January 2013, a very similar event occurred. School officials at D. Newlin Fell School in Philadelphia yelled at a student and then searched her in front of her class after she was found with a paper gun her grandfather had made for her. (RELATED: Paper Gun Causes Panic)
Last month, a second-grade teacher in Colorado filed a behavioral report on a boy after he drew a picture of a gun because she instructed him to go outside, look up at the clouds and draw what he saw. (RELATED: Teacher Asks Second Graders To Draw What They See In Clouds, Boy Sees Gun, Teacher WRITES UP BOY)
In May 2013, school officials at Dowell Elementary School in Lusby, Md. allegedly interrogated a kindergartner for over two hours after the boy brought a plastic, orange-tipped cowboy-style cap gun on a school bus because he “really, really” wanted his friend to see it. Worried sick about the pop gun, school officials called the boy’s mother. By the time she arrived, he had wet his pants. (RELATED: Kindergartener interrogated over cap gun until he pees his pants, then suspended 10 days)
In April 2013, an eighth grader in West Virginia was suspended and, astonishingly, arrested after he refused to remove a t-shirt supporting the National Rifle Association. The courageous 14-year-old then returned to school wearing exactly the same shirt, which depicts a hunting rifle with the statement “protect your right.” Prosecutors later dropped the charges. (RELATED: Eighth-grader arrested over NRA shirt returns to school in same shirt)
In March 2013, school officials at Park Elementary School in Baltimore, Md. suspended an 8-year-old boy because he nibbled his strawberry breakfast pastry into something resembling a gun. School district officials later refused to remove the incident from the boy’s permanent academic record. (RELATED: Second Grader Suspended For Having Breakfast Pastry Shaped Like A Gun)
Also in March, officials at an elementary school in small-town Michigan impounded a third-grader boy’s batch of 30 homemade birthday cupcakes because they were adorned with “insensitive” plastic figurines representing World War Two soldiers. (RELATED: School Confiscates Third-Grader’s Cupcakes Topped With Toy Soldiers)
In February, a seven-year-old boy got suspended because he lobbed a pretend grenade – probably heroically far – toward make-believe bad guys on the playground during recess. (RELATED: Seven-Year-Old Boy Lobs Pretend Grenade During Recess, Gets Suspended)
Also in January, 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)
Another January anti-gun hysteria story took place in rural Pennsylvania involving a kindergarten girl who was suspended after she told another girl that she planned to shoot her with a pink Hello Kitty toy gun that bombards targets with soapy bubbles. The kindergartner had to submit to psychological testing before she could return to school. (RELATED: Kindergartener Suspended For Making ‘Terroristic Threat’ With Hello Kitty Bubble Gun)