Two seventh grade boys playing with a toy airsoft gun near a school bus stop have been suspended from school for the rest of the year in Virginia Beach, Va., and could be expelled permanently.
Khalid Caraballo and Aiden Clark were suspended long-term, for the rest of the school year, and recommended for expulsion because they shot two friends while playing with the guns as they were waiting for a school bus in early September.
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Caraballo's mother, Solangel Caraballo, said the incident happened on her property, which is 70 yards from the bus stop, and the school should not have the power to suspend her son for something not connected with the school.
"My son is my private property," Solangel Caraballo told WAVY-TV.
"He does not become the school's property until he goes to the bus stop, gets on the bus, and goes to school."
Matthew Delaney, principal of Larkspar Middle School, said in a statement obtained by WAVY-TV that since the children were in the process of going to school, the school district has jurisdiction over the boys. He said the incident happened less than 10 feet away from the bus stop and other students were present.
"There is an expectation that all students should be able to travel to and from school in the safest environment possible," Delaney said. "As the principal of Larkspur Middle School, I am responsible for the safety of students and will take all appropriate actions to ensure that the students using the pellet guns are appropriately disciplined and held responsible for their conduct."
The Virginia Beach Police will not
charge anyone in the case.
"We understand that a number of juveniles possess air soft guns and have 'airsoft gun' wars with each other, but as it relates to the city code referenced above, they are in violation of the code if the juveniles are not exercising 'reasonable care,' " the Virginia Beach Police Department said in a statement obtained by The Washington Times
. "We want to stress to the parents of the juveniles and the operators of these types of 'pneumatic guns' that they need to be handled responsibly and with reasonable care to ensure that the projectile is properly contained."
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