It seems Hunter Crowe, every bit a 4-year-old American boy, had been causing trouble — at preschool.
For the adults at A Place 2 Grow Child Care and Learning Center in Troy, Illinois, the main sticking point is that Hunter had been continuing to “make guns out of other toys,” according to a letter from the preschool to his father and his mother Kristy Jackson.
In fact, the letter says, Hunter had been told that “guns, hunting, etc., are not subjects that are to be discussed at school.” And despite “multiple attempts to redirect” his “behaviors” toward “other activities,” Hunter kept up his gun play.
The deed that sealed the 4-year-old’s fate, however, seemed a lot more serious — at first.
On Tuesday afternoon, Jackson arrived at A Place 2 Grow to pick up Hunter, but she told KTVI-TV she instead “was met with a stone-faced teacher who said that my son had a shotgun bullet. I was horrified thinking, ‘Where could he have gotten this?’ ”
Jackson explained on Facebook that when she was “escorted to the office for a sit down,” she “was handed a tiny .22 empty brass casing. Not a ‘shotgun bullet.’ He found it on the ground, expelled from a .22 rifle over the weekend, while Hunter was target practicing with his police officer grandpa. He was so excited, and snuck it to school to show his friends. We had no idea about it.”
Hunter’s grandpa, in fact, was hard at work teaching his grandson about hunting and responsible gun use, KTVI said.
But preschool officials had made up their minds that in Hunter’s case, “other actions” were needed in order to “correct these behaviors,” the letter added.
For starters, a 7-day suspension from the preschool.
“He’s cried about it and he doesn’t understand why his school hates him,” Jackson told KTVI of Hunter’s reaction.
That’s not all.
The letter indicates that after his suspension, if Hunter’s “issues continue to be present or other issues arise,” he will be “expelled from A Place 2 Grow Child Care and Learning Center effective immediately.”
Also, the school’s vice president emailed Jackson saying he was notifying the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services, KTVI reported, adding that DCFS needs to be notified since the preschool is licensed by the agency.
Jackson told KTVI the preschool’s reaction is “paranoia” and the she isn’t sure if he’ll be going back.
“It’s something that’s become quite an epidemic where guns are automatically assumed that they’re bad … and I’m not sure how a 7-day suspension teaches my son anything about tolerance or anything about why he was wrong,” she said to the station. “It just means his school doesn’t want him there because of things he enjoys.”