On May 8, Atlantic City, New Jersey, 5th grader Aarin Moody reached into his pocket to retrieve a “late note” from his mother and a Nerf gun foam “bullet” fell out. Officials at the Atlantic City School District categorized the toy bullet as a “self-constructed weapon” because “it had a toothpick stuck in it.”
As a result, Moody received “a five-day, in-school suspension and a notation on his permanent record stating that he brought a makeshift weapon to school.”
According to Fox News, the 5th grader put toothpicks in the Nerf bullets “so they would stick to the ground when he fired them from his Nerf gun.” Moody said he did not put the toothpicks in to cause mischief.
The 5th grader said, “They want me to like say that I did it on purpose, [that] I put it in my pocket to hurt someone.”
The school initially told Moody’s mom “her son would be expelled.” The school’s weapons policy bars “Anything readily capable of lethal use or inflicting serious bodily injury.”
Moody’s mom said, “her son suffers from attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, and has suffered in the past from anger management issues.” But she believes her son’s suspension was the result of “a complaint [she filed] against the board claiming harassment issues from a supervisor during her time as a substitute custodian in the district.”