A 6-year-old boy was suspended from his Maryland elementary school last month for making a gun gesture with his hand, aiming his fingers at a classmate and saying, "Pow." Now, his family is fighting the one-day suspension with the help of legal counsel.
The boy is a student at Roscoe R. Nix Elementary School in Silver Spring, Md. He made the gesture and was suspended one week after the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary in Connecticut that prompted tighter security at schools nationwide.
Family attorney Robin Ficker says the school is overreacting.
"What they're doing is looking at the worst possible interpretation of a young, naive 6-year-old, " Ficker told the Washington Examiner of school officials. "This is a little child who can't form the intent to do anything like that."
Schools across the country are still on high alert as parents nervously sent their children back to class after the attack. Districts nationwide have tightened security measures and increased campus patrols, and hypersensitivity to any unusual activity or perceived threats has already resulted in numerous lockdowns.
One Utah boy may face charges for taking the matter of security into his own hands last month by bringing a gun to school for protection.
In the Maryland boy's case, a letter to his parents from an assistant principal said the child had been involved in a "similar incident" earlier that day. In a statement to NBC 4 Washington, Montgomery County Schools spokesperson Dana Tofig said district policy prevents comment on individual student disciplinary cases:
"Generally, in an incident involving the behavior of our younger students, we will make sure that the student and his family are well-informed of any behavior that needs to change and understand the consequences if the behavior does not change."
District policy allows a suspension to be appealed within 10 days of its issuance.