A 5-year-old who had a bright yellow, green, and purple toy gun that shoots sponge bullets was suspended for 10 days from Duchesne Elementary School of Ferguson/Florissant School District in Missouri.
Tamoya Smith, the distraught parent said, “I’m having trouble explaining to my son, who was excited to start school, why he is in so much trouble for a toy that he recieved as a Christmas gift”. Recently, gun control issues have been in the news and schools have tightened their penalities for possessing things that ‘look like’ a weapon.
Monday, Oct 8, 2012, Katie Sanders, principal of Duchesne Elementary sent a letter home informing parents of the incident. In her letter she said, “providing a safe environment that allows children to learn is our first priority. Please take this opportunity to remind your children that no weapons of any kind are allowed on school property and encourage them to report unsafe situations.” Smith and many other parents question the catagorizing of a toy as a weapon, especially one that spits out sponge bullets. Sarah Potter of the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education said, “its all left up to the local districts. We allow local districts to handle discipline of students.”