A 5-year-old Maryland kindergartner was suspended for 10 days this week for having brought a cowboy-style, orange-tipped cap gun onto his Calvert County, Md., school bus.
On Wednesday, the child brought the plastic toy gun on the bus to show his friends after a classmate had reportedly brought a water pistol to school earlier in the week.
In addition to the 10-day suspension, school officials interrogated the boy for approximately two hours
, during which time he urinated in his pants, before calling his mother and making her aware of the situation, the Washington Post reported.
"I have no problem that he had a consequence to his behavior," the boy's mother told The Post, asking that her name be withheld to protect her son’s privacy. "What I have a problem with is the severity."
The unidentified mother was also critical of the way in which the school handled the situation.
"The school was quite obviously taking it very seriously, and he’s 5 years old," she said. "Why were we not immediately contacted?"
Late Thursday, the family’s attorney appealed the suspension, requesting that the action be reversed and the child’s record be expunged at Dowell Elementary School in Lusby, Md.
"Kids play cowboys and Indians," said Robin Ficker, the family’s attorney. "They play cops and robbers. You’re talking about a little 5-year-old here."
According to the family, if the punishment should stand, the incident would be added to the boy's permanent school record and keep him out of classes the remainder of the school year with summer vacation around the corner.
In addition to interrogating the kindergartener, school officials also interrogated his 6-year-old sister about the incident, the mother said.
According to the mother, the principal defended the school's reaction, telling her that the 5-year-old had simulated shooting someone on the bus with the unloaded cap gun.
Both the boy and his older sister, a first-grader, disputed the principal's claim and reportedly told the mother that she was not telling the truth.
The punishment will be reexamined at a disciplinary conference scheduled for Friday, the Daily Caller reported.
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