4th grader suspended for moving BB gun during virtual class

Education

An empty classroom is seen at a closed school in Paris, Monday, March 16, 2020. France plans to close all creches, schools and universities from Monday until further notice to limit the spread of the novel coronavirus, President Emmanuel Macron says. For most people, the new coronavirus causes only mild or moderate symptoms. For some it can cause more severe illness, especially in older adults and people with existing health problems. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus)

HARVEY, La. (AP) — A fourth-grader at a Louisiana elementary school was suspended from school after he picked up a BB gun his younger brother tripped over and placed it in view of his computer’s camera while taking a virtual class, officials said.

Woodmere Elementary student Ka Mauri Harrison was suspended for six days and was eligible to return to class Thursday, news outlets reported.

The Jefferson Parish Public school system said Ka Mauri brandished the BB gun during the virtual class on Sept. 11 and was suspended because he violated an in-class instruction policy.

But Ka Mauri’s family said the school district violated their privacy and didn’t give the child due process.

A school behavior report said Ka Mauri was taking a test with his computer muted when his brother walked into the room and tripped over the BB gun that was lying on the floor. The brothers share a room.

The report said Ka Mauri left his seat, out of view of the teacher, and returned with “what appeared to be a full-sized rifle in his possession.”

The teacher tried to talk to Ka Mauri, but his computer was muted and he was subsequently kicked out of the class, the report said.

Nyron Harrison, one of Ka Mauri’s parents, said he told officials it was a BB gun, not an actual rifle, but the report said it was still a violation of school policy.

“They are treating it as if he brought a weapon to school,” Nyron Harrison said.

The family has considered filing a lawsuit in state court.

“It’s not ending here,” said Chelsea Cusimano, the attorney hired by the family. “It’s our intent to explore further options.”

A school spokeswoman told news outlets that the school doesn’t comment on students’ records.

This case is similar to other incidents involving “weapons” and online learning during the pandemic. Earlier this month, a seventh grade Colorado student was suspended for picking up a neon-green toy gun. Another student in New Jersey was also suspended for playing with a nerf gun.

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