The toy gun at the center of a kindergarten school bus controversy in Palmer, Mass., is incredibly small.
When a 6-year-old student brought the "LEGO sized" weapon with him to school on Friday, a concerned classmate reportedly told the bus driver. The student who brought the toy gun was then threatened with a detention, a bus ticket and a potential bus suspension, local ABC affiliate WGGB reported last week.
As WGGB's original video report on the incident demonstrates, the toy gun in question is not much larger than a quarter.
To the student's relief -- and that of his family -- the detention and bus ticket were both canceled this week, the boy's mom, Mieke Crane, told WGGB on Tuesday.
The student had already written a letter of apology to the bus driver, and the school, Old Mill Pond Elementary School, had addressed parents whose kids were on the same bus with a letter of explanation that included an illustration of the gun, according to WGGB; the classmate who brought up the gun was also reportedly asked to apologize.
The school's reversal of its planned disciplinary actions reportedly came after a review of the security tape from the bus ride, which apparently showed that the toy gun hadn't scared the 6-year-old's classmates as much as was originally assumed, WGGB reports.
The student's grandmother, a former school principal, spoke to Margery Eagan at the Boston Herald: "I would’ve said, 'Put it away' or 'take it home' or 'I’ll hold onto it until the end of the day. ... I really think they overreacted. The problem is, we don’t use our heads."
According to Masslive.com, Palmer's zero tolerance rule will come before the local school committee next month in light of the controversy. One member of the committee told the site he had questions about what had happened and hoped it would be a "teachable moment." Crane told WGGB she'd be attending the meeting to ask that the school district employ bus monitors.
The superintendent's office did not offer a comment to WGGB or Masslive.com, and the chairman of the school committee told WGGB it was "not a story" because "no disciplinary action [would be] taken."
Suspensions and even expulsions over toy guns and gun-like objects or gestures have made headlines in recent months as the debate over zero tolerance rules has heated up since last December's school shooting in Newtown, Conn.
In January, a 5-year-old girl in Pennsylvania was suspended for allegedly threatening another student by discussing a "Hello Kitty" bubble gun she owned but didn't have with her.
And the suspension of 7-year-old Josh Welch for biting a Pop-Tart into the shape of a gun inspired a Maryland lawmaker to bring the "Reasonable School Discipline Act of 2013" -- "prohibiting a principal from suspending or expelling a student who brings to school or possesses on school property a picture of a gun, a computer image of a gun, a facsimile of a gun or any other object that resembles a gun but serves another purpose" -- up for discussion in his state's legislature in March.