A 9-year-old student from Louisiana was suspended after his teacher reported seeing him with a BB gun during an online class; his parents are now suing the school district.
According to an NBC News report, Ka'Mauri Harrison, who is a fourth-grader at Woodmere Elementary School, was taking a test in his bedroom last September 11. He shares his room with his two younger siblings. Speaking to CNN, family attorney Chelsea Cusimano said the boy muted his computer so he could focus on his test.
Then, one of his brothers came into the room and tripped on a BB gun that happened to be laying on the floor. Ka'Mauri picked up the BB gun and placed the gun next to him. The lawsuit filed by the family states that the boy never pointed the BB gun at the computer screen. He also did not say anything to the teacher or the class and was not aware that the gun had been seen.
It was unintentional
The lawsuit that was filed against the school district, including some of its staff, furthered that Ka'Mauri did not intend for his BB gun to show on the screen and believed that he was just doing the right thing. The NBC News report noted that the teacher told the boy's mother that she thought she saw him with a rifle.
The teacher tried to get the boy's attention and called his name but because the computer was muted, they did not get a response. The screen went black after that and lost connection "due to internet issues." According to a CNN report, the school tried to contact the boy's parents but was unsuccessful. They then called his emergency contact, Ka'Mauri's grandfather, to inform him about the incident.
From expulsion to six days suspension
The school initially recommended expulsion for violating weapons in the classroom setting and violation of internet usage policy. However, after the September 22 hearing, the boy was determined guilty of showing a facsimile weapon during a virtual class - a hearing officer determined that it was a BB gun. It was then decided to suspend Ka'Mauri instead for six days.
Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry told NBC News that it was appalling that Ka'Mauri was recommended for expulsion, then received a suspension, but was not given the chance to appeal the decision. Family attorney Chelsea Cusimano told WWLTV that the Jefferson Parish School system needs to reconsider its decision considering that the incident happened at the boy's home. However, the school system said that their on-campus policies are in-effect even for distance learning.
Also, Jefferson Parrish Schools told CNN that they do not comment on individual student records. However, for discipline, their policy allows teachers and administrators to employ reasonable disciplinary and corrective measures so that order is maintained.
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