In the latest incident of anti-gun hysteria to erupt in a school setting, a second-grade boy has been suspended from school for 10 days and could be permanently expelled because he brought a small water pistol and a small Nerf gun to school.
The 7-year-old boy, Josiah Green, lives in Portsmouth, Virginia and attends Douglass Park Elementary School, reports local NBC affiliate WAVY-TV.
Josiah was busted with the two toys — which look and, obviously, operate nothing like real weapons — back in May. He had the toy contraband in his pockets in gym class. He wasn’t aiming the guns at anyone, his mother said.
The boy’s mother, Audreyann Davis, said school officials have threatened that her son now faces permanent expulsion because of the incident.
“It is frustrating right now,” Davis told WAVY-TV. “I understand that he’s suspended, but now you’re throwing that he could be expelled on the table.”
“He’s small and he made a mistake,” the mad mother added. “He didn’t know what he was doing. He doesn’t even understand what’s going on and why he can’t bring his toy guns to school.”
Davis noted that she frequently inspects Josiah’s backpack before school but on the day he took the toys to school, she didn’t look inside.
“I blame myself,” she said.
School officials are defending the 10-day suspension for a water gun and a Nerf gun by proudly pointing to their zero-tolerance policy, and by arguing that they believe that squirt guns could somehow be mistaken for deadly weapons.
Davis has hired an attorney to fight the prospect of expulsion.
“We have to have common sense,” the lawyer, Tim Anderson, told WAVY-TV.
The Portsmouth School Board will decide whether to expel Josiah permanently over a water pistol and a Nerf gun at a hearing on Thursday.
The incident in Portsmouth is latest incident in a long trend involving zero-tolerance policies in public schools and school officials going apoplectic over things that are not guns but sort of resemble guns.
The quintessentially absurd story involving school officials reacting hysterically to an object that is not a gun occurred at Park Elementary School in Baltimore, Maryland when a little boy was suspended for two days because his teacher thought he shaped a strawberry, pre-baked toaster pastry into something resembling a gun. (RELATED: Second-Grader Suspended For Having Pop-Tart Shaped Like A Gun)
In Calvert County, Maryland, a kindergarten boy was suspended from school for 10 days because he showed a friend his plastic, orange-tipped, cowboy-style cap gun on the way to school. The incident happened on a school bus. The boy later wet his pants during a lengthy interrogation, his mother said. (RELATED: Kindergartener Interrogated Over Cap Gun Until He Pees His Pants, Then Suspended 10 Days)
A six-year-old boy was punished because he took a plastic Lego gun roughly the size of a quarter on a school bus headed to Old Mill Pond Elementary School in Palmer, Mass. (RELATED: Kindergartener Gets Detention, Forced To Apologize For Tiny Lego Gun)
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.” (RELATED: Eighth-Grader Arrested Over NRA Shirt Returns To School In Same Shirt)
Officials at an elementary school in small-town Michigan impounded a third-grade boy’s batch of 30 homemade birthday cupcakes because they were adorned with green plastic figurines representing World War Two soldiers. The school principal branded the military-themed cupcakes “insensitive” in light of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting. (RELATED: School Confiscates Third-Grader’s Cupcakes Topped With Toy Soldiers)
At Genoa-Kingston Middle School in northeast Illinois, a teacher threatened an eighth grader with suspension if he did not remove his t-shirt emblazoned with the interlocking rifles insignia of the United States Marines. (RELATED: Junior High Teacher Tells Kid To Remove Marines T-Shirt Or Get Suspended)
At Poston Butte High School in Arizona, a high school freshman was suspended for setting a picture of a gun as the desktop background on his school-issued computer. (RELATED: Freshman Suspended For Picture Of Gun)
At an elementary school in Philadelphia, school officials reportedly yelled at a young female student and then searched her in front of her class after she was found with a crude paper gun her grandfather had made for her. (RELATED: Paper Gun Causes Panic)
In rural Pennsylvania, a kindergarten girl 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. (RELATED: Kindergartener Suspended For Making ‘Terroristic Threat’ With Hello Kitty Bubble Gun)
At Roscoe R. Nix Elementary School in Maryland, a 6-year-old boy 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 after a local attorney intervened. (RELATED: Pow! You’re Suspended, Kid)