A 12-year-old boy was suspended from school after a teacher spotted a toy gun in his hand during an online class.
Boy Suspended Over Toy Gun in His Own Home
The Colorado Springs boy, Isaiah Elliot, was participating in a group online art call when he allegedly “flashed” a neon green toy gun with the words ‘Zombie Hunter’ on the side, Fox Denver 31 reports.
The teacher “notified the school principal who suspended Isaiah for five days.” The punishment was the same as if someone threatened a classmate even though Elliot was on a virtual platform.
The principal didn’t stop there, he proceeded to contact the El Paso County Sherriff’s Office to do a “welfare check” on the family.
School Never Talked to Parents
According to local media, the principal never reached out to the parents of the boy to get a better understanding of the incident.
Fox 31 reports that the teacher knew the toy gun was not real but decided to make the incident into a big deal and did not release that information to the school principal.
Elliot’s parents were very angry about the incident and expressed their distaste to local media.
“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 Elliot, Isaiah’s father told local media.
“He was in tears when the cops came. He was just in tears. He was scared. We all were scared. I literally was scared for his life,” he added.
“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,” Elliot’s mother, Dani, said.
The boy’s parents do not understand why the school failed to contact them before calling the police.
“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,” she said.
The Video Suggests an Accident
In the video, it appears that Isaiah did not mean for anyone to see the toy gun but rather was just trying to move it from one side of the laptop to the other.
“A sheriff’s deputy recorded the video on his body cam and showed it to the boy’s father. Curtis Elliott told FOX31 the video shows his son sitting at home on his sofa when he momentarily picks up the toy gun on the right side of where he’s sitting and moves it to his left side, not realizing that in the process his teacher and fellow students saw him move the gun across the computer screen,” Fox 18 reported.
The school district declined to comment on the incident.