The kids were to bring in their favorite toys for show and tell, but the choice of toy got one student suspended, Channel 13 WMAZ news in Houston reported today. Fourth grader Ramsey McDonald brought his toy in to school, which prompted school administration to clal his parents to report he had brought a “weapon” to school. The so-called weapon was a plastic “Nerf Reactor” gun that shoots balls made of a light foam rubber kind of material.
The school, in Warner Robins, Georgia, gave McDonald a three-day suspension that was later changed to three days of in-school suspension for bringing the “weapon” to school. The fourth grader's father received a call from the school, he was quoted as saying, They told me my son brought a weapon to school and they asked me if I was aware,” McDonald told WMAZ. “I asked them what it was and they said it was a plastic Nerf gun.”
The school suspended the student for bringing the Nerf gun, which they claimed “looked like a weapon” but then claimed they hadn't suspended the student for bringing a weapon. WMAZ reported, “On Friday, Houston School Supt. Mark Scott said Ramsey McDonald's suspension was always in-school; he said the boy was never supposed to be suspended out of school. He declined to discuss the specifics of his case, but said the suspension was not based on school officials viewing the Nerf gun as a dangerous item: "We never viewed that as a weapon." Had the boy brought an actual weapon to school, Scott said, he probably would have been diverted to an alternative school.”
This is the latest in many such instances of young students being suspended or otherwise disciplined under school zero tolerance policies regarding having “weapons” in school. Last year, a school in Michigan removed toy soliders from cupcakes that a student brought to school. In another instance, a student in Baltimore was suspended for taking bites out of a pop-tart so it was shaped like a gun. A student in another Maryland elementary school last year was suspended for pointing his finger like a gun and saying “pow.”