A 6-year-old boy was suspended from the James McGee Elementary School in Pasco, Wash. for talking about his toy Nerf guns with classmates. The Pasco School District decided to overturn the suspension on Thursday after speaking with the child's parents.
On Feb. 28, Noah, a first-grader, was sent home after another student said she thought he had a gun with him when he talked about his toy Nerf guns that his family had recently bought him during a vacation.
The young girl who had overheard Noah reportedly stated that she felt her "health and safety were threatened." Noah was immediately suspended despite not actually having any toy gun, let alone a real gun, with him. Noah's father, Mike Aguirre, says he still punished his son for talking about the Nerf guns with classmates at school.
School officials said the issue is covered in the district's discipline handbook which Aguirre disputes, saying that there is no provision prohibiting students from talking about guns, toys or not.
The parents met Monday with district officials which resulted in Noah's suspension being downgraded to a "disruption," instead of a threat, despite no evidence of a threat ever being established. The parents also felt their son was singled out, pointing out that other students involved in the conversation received no punishment.
"After a review it was determined that no disciplinary action is warranted and all record of the incident will be expunged from the student's record," a school district statement sent to the Tri-City Herald said.
Just last January, children talking about a toy Nerf gun in the Bronx caused a lockdown at two elementary schools and a large police response.
The same month at a Long Island high school, a 6-hour lockdown was triggered due to a student's toy Nerf gun on campus.
In two separate incidents, two 6-year-old students in Maryland were suspended for simply making gun gestures with their hands. One said "pow" and the other simply made the gesture while playing "cops and robbers."