A 12-year-old Colorado boy was suspended for five days for brandishing a toy gun across his computer screen during an online class, said police.
The El Dorado Sheriff’s Office said the teacher thought it was a toy gun. Authorities conducted a welfare check on the child, identified as Isaiah Elliott, without parental notification.
“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 Elliott, Isaiah’s father, told KDVR.
Elliott said the child “was in tears” when officers arrived at their home.
“He was scared. We all were scared. I literally was scared for his life,” said Curtis Elliott. “The virtual setting is not the same as the school setting,” the dad added. “He did not take the toy gun to school. He’s in the comfort of his own home. It’s a toy.”
The toy gun is green and black with the words, “ZOMBIE HUNTER,” on the side.
The boy’s mother said the punishment was unnecessary.
“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,” said Dani Elliott.
The school, Grand Mountain, said that the punishment that was meted out is policy.
“Privacy laws prevent us from sharing students’ personal information which includes disciplinary action,” the school said. “We follow all school board policies whether we are in-person learning or distance learning. We take the safety of all our students and staff very seriously. Safety is always our number one priority.”