Have we reached peak insanity yet?
A Colorado elementary school has suspended a 12 year old student because he flashed a green neon gun during online classes.
He was not playing with the gun during the virtual class.
Rather, reports indicate that he was simply moving the neon green toy gun from one side of his desk to the other.
But apparently this was enough to scare the students on the other end of the screen.
Parents were reportedly upset.
So now the school has decided to suspend the 12 year old boy for simply moving his toy gun during online classes.
(Of course, if they were allowed back in school, this wouldn’t even be an issue!)
More details on this bizarre story below:
Apparently the cops were called as well.
It would be one thing if it looked like a real gun.
But it was clearly a toy gun, as it was bright neon green.
Furthermore, because classes are happening online, he posed a threat to no one with his TOY gun.
Local Wane 15 News confirms the story:
A 12-year-old boy has been suspended for having a toy gun he never brought to school.
Isaiah Elliott attends Grand Mountain, a K-8 grade school south of Colorado Springs.
In late August, the seventh grader was attending an online art class when a teacher saw Isaiah flash a toy gun across his computer screen. The toy in question is a neon green and black handgun with an orange tip with the words “Zombie Hunter” printed on the side.
The teacher notified the school principal who suspended Isaiah for five days and called the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office to conduct a welfare check on the boy without calling his parents first.
“I didn’t know what was going to happen. I didn’t know if they were going to bust down the door,” said Isaiah. “My heart was beating super fast.”
“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,” said Isaiah’s father, Curtis Elliott.
Curtis’ wife Dani Elliott was equally furious with the school’s decision to notify her, only after deputies were on their way to the family’s home.
“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.
A sheriff’s department report confirms the teacher, “said she assumed it was a toy gun but was not certain.”
“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,” said Dani.
Neither parent knew the school was recording their son’s virtual class but said the district refused to provide the video to them when they requested it.
The Elliotts said their son was traumatized by deputies telling the 12-year-old his behavior could’ve led to criminal charges and might in the future if he were to do something similar again.
“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,” said Curtis Elliot, fearful that deputies might overreact to having the school principal tell them a young Black boy was potentially armed with a gun.
If the teachers and school leadership have such poor judgement when it comes to toy guns and online learning, it really makes you wonder what they're teaching the children!
It's been confirmed that the 12-year-old has been suspended for 5 school days.
Turns out that the parents weren't even notified about the incident until the cops were well on their way.
The school's judgement, according to many online commentators, seems to be overreaching in nature.
Vice confirms that the family is upset over the incident:
Dani Elliott, the student’s mother, was only informed of the incident when the police were on the way to their house, and she was frustrated that the school didn’t attempt to contact her or her husband first, she told the Washington Post.
The incident echoes the 2014 police killing of 12-year-old Tamir Rice, who was playing with an airsoft gun at a Cleveland park. “He was in tears when the police came,” Dani Elliott told the Washington Post of her son. “He was very scared.”
There are conflicting accounts of what happened during the class, which was recorded via Zoom video and later recorded with a body camera by the school resource officer assigned to the case. Officer Steven Paddack said the video of the class, which was recorded by the school, “clearly shows” the Elliotts’ son and another boy “pointing what appears to be a black handgun at the computer screen and pointing the trigger,” in a police report obtained by KOAA.
Curtis Elliott, however, said that the video only shows his son moving the gun from one side to another, he told the Washington Post. Before Paddack left the Elliott home, he “verified” that the gun was a toy, he said in his report.
The school has declined to answer questions about the incident but said in a statement posted to Facebook that there were “several inaccuracies spreading on social media.” The school also responded to complaints about its classes being recorded, saying that wasn’t “current practice” and blaming the recording feature’s usage in this case on a lack of familiarity with the platform.
“We never have or ever will condone any form of racism or discrimination. Safety will always be number one for our students and staff,” the school said. “We utilize our School Resource Officers, who are trusted and trained professionals who work in our schools with our children, to ensure safety.”
After a summer of protests against police brutality, several local governments operating public school systems, including Denver, Minneapolis, and Portland, have severed agreements with police to provide school resource officers. Officials in the Colorado Springs area have thus far not followed suit.
Though police threatened charges, the Elliotts’ son was ultimately handed a five-day suspension and a mark on his disciplinary record, infuriating the Elliotts. The school refused to drop the suspension or the mark on their son’s disciplinary record, the parents told the Post. “Black children cannot have that sort of thing on their record. You are reducing his chances at success,” Dani Elliott said she told school administrators.
The Elliotts have pulled their son out of the school and put him on a waitlist for a charter school, they told the Post.
If educators are so worried about a toy gun, it makes you wonder more about their views on real guns.
Did they overreact because they want more gun control?
Many questions still linger over this incident.
But one thing is clear: common sense is on the decline in America.