A 12-year schoolboy from Colorado was suspended for waving a toy gun on screen during a virtual class.
Colorado Springs Schoolboy Waves Toy-gun on Screen
On Aug. 27, during his online art class through his Colorado Springs grade school, the pre-teen Isaiah Elliott flashed his “Zombie Hunter” mock gun which had an orange tip to differentiate it from a real gun.
According to the report, the teacher alerted the school principal who suspended Elliott for five days and called the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office without talking to the boy’s parents in advance.
“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,” Dani Elliott, Isaiah’s mom, explained.
Elliot’s parents and the traumatized boy said that deputies went to their house to verify that the gun was fake.
“I didn’t know what was going to happen. I didn’t know if they were going to bust down the door,” Elliott said.
The schoolboy has attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and added that he was only trying to move the toy when he accidentally flashed it across the screen.
According to the boy’s dad Curtis Elliott, the school officials have to understand that the online classes during the COVID-19 pandemic have brought teachers into students’ homes, where expectations must be different.
Curtis and Dani Elliott added that they were particularly afraid of their son as a young black boy growing up in the US and intended to find him a new school.
“This could potentially impact his future. … Look at everything that’s going on in the world today,” Dani Elliot told BuzzFeed News. “God forbid something happens to my son down the road, people could look at this and decide he doesn’t deserve justice. I know that sounds extreme. … It’s a very real reality for us.”
In a Facebook statement, school officials declined to go into specifics for privacy reasons, but defended their handling of the situation.
“We never have or ever will condone any form of racism or discrimination. Safety will always be number one for our students and staff. We follow board policies and safety protocols consistently, whether we are in-person or distance learning,” the Facebook statement read. “We will continue to support all families in our school to make sure they feel safe, respected, and educated.”