A 12-year-old child in Colorado was suspended from school for 5 days and police were sent to his house after his teacher spotted a toy gun during a virtual class meeting according to Fox31.
12-year-old Isaiah Elliott was attending a virtual art class Thursday, August 27 at Grand Mountain grade school when he flashed a neon green and black toy gun with an orange tip across the screen, Fox31 News reported. The gun said “Zombie Hunter” on the side. (RELATED: Colorado Woman Assaults 12-Year-Old Boy Over His Trump Sign, Police Say)
Isaiah, who has Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and has been diagnosed with learning disabilities, didn’t know that the gun was flashed on the screen, his father Curtis Elliott told Fox31 News. The toy was never brought on school property.
NERF GUN SUSPENSION: 12-year-old suspended over toy gun seen in virtual class https://t.co/nEMlqEQ82C
— Ben Ferguson (@benfergusonshow) September 7, 2020
The school’s principal suspended Isaiah for 5 days after the teacher reported the incident, according to the report. He also called the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office to go to the child’s home – without notifying the parents – to conduct a welfare check.
“It was really frightening and upsetting for me as a parent, especially as the parent of an African-American young man, especially given what’s going on in our country right now,” Curtis Elliott told Fox31.
Curtis’ wife, Dani Elliott, called the reaction to her son’s toy gun “extreme” and “insane.”
“For them to go as extreme as suspending him for five days, sending the police out, having the police threaten to press charges against him because they want to compare the virtual environment to the actual in-school environment is insane,” she said. “If her main concern was his safety, a two-minute phone call to me or my husband could easily have alleviated this whole situation to where I told them it was fake.”
“It would’ve been a lot easier for me to understand if my son had made a threat,” Dani added.
The sheriff’s report confirmed that the teacher “said she assumed it was a toy gun but was not certain,” according to Fox31.
The district refused to show Isaiah’s parents the recorded video from the class, but a sheriff’s deputy recorded the video on his body camera and showed it to Curtis Elliott. The video showed Isaiah picking up the toy gun, which is on his right side, and moving it to his left side, unaware that it was visible on the computer screen.
Curtis said that it “flashed across the school computer screen for maybe one or two seconds at the most.”
The family said that deputies traumatized their son by threatening him with criminal charges if it happened again. “He was in tears when the cops came,” Curtis told Fox31. (RELATED: CRIMINAL CHARGES Loom For 11-Year-Old Girl Suspended For Cutting Peach With Kid-Proof Knife)
“Privacy laws prevent us from sharing students’ personal information which includes disciplinary action,” Grand Mountain said in a statement to Fox31. “We follow all school board policies whether we are in-person learning or distance learning. We take the safety of all our students and staff very seriously. Safety is always our number one priority.”
The family said that they intend to transfer their son to a private or charter school.