A 6-year-old school boy's suspension for making a hand gesture in the form of a gun toward one of his classmates while saying "pow" is being called a worst-possible overreaction by a lawyer hired by the family.
The incident at the Roscoe R. Nix Elementary School in Silver Spring, Md., happened a week after the Dec. 14 school shooting in Newtown, Conn.
The parents were informed of their son's suspension via a letter sent by Assistant Principal Renee Garraway, who wrote that their son was "was involved in a serious incident . . . [He] threatened to shoot a student. He was spoken to earlier today about a similar incident."
Though school officials refused to discuss the disciplinary action taken, it wasn't the first time something like that had happened, according to Garraway's letter.
In response to the school's actions against their son, the child's family has hired attorney Robin Ficker.
"What they're doing is looking at the worst possible interpretation of a young, naive 6-year-old," Ficker told the Washington Examiner
. "This is a little child who can't form the intent to do anything like that."
"They could have called the mother in. They didn't do that. They just said, 'You're suspended.' Five years from now, when someone in to Montgomery County looks at his permanent record, they're going to see that he threatened to shoot another student," said Ficker, adding that the school has yet to describe what the "similar incident" was.
A conference to further discuss the matter has been scheduled for the first day the students return to school after the holiday break.
Refusing to address this specific issue, Montgomery County Public Schools spokesman Dana Tofig said it is school system policy to make sure parents are aware of any and all behavioral issues affecting students.
"Generally, in an incident involving the behavior of our younger students, we will make sure that the student and family are well-informed of any behavior that needs to change and understand the consequences if the behavior does not change," said Tofig. "And that's especially true if the behavior is affecting the learning environment or how safe another student feels."
The school hasn't said how other students experienced feelings of endangerment from the boy's actions.
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