A five-year-old Maryland boy was interrogated until he wet himself and suspended for 10 days after school officials caught with playing with a “cowboy-style cap gun,” the Washington Post reports, citing the child’s family and lawyer.
School officials interrogated the boy for two whole hours until he “uncharacteristically” wet his pants, the boy’s mother said.
He’s “all bugs and frogs and cowboys,” she said.
“I have no problem that he had a consequence to his behavior,” said the mother, who has requested anonymity to protect the boy’s identity.
“What I have a problem with is the severity,” she said, adding that the school’s handling of the situation was unacceptable.
The family’s attorney has asked for the school to reverse its suspension decision and to expunge the boy’s record.
“If the punishment stands, it would become part of the boy’s permanent school record and keep him out of classes the rest of the school year,” the WaPo notes, citing the family. “He would miss his end-of-year kindergarten program at Dowell Elementary School in Lusby.”
Yes, this is real life.
A “disciplinary conference” is scheduled to review the situation on Friday.
The Washington Post details how everything went down [emphasis added]:
According to the family, the boy’s friend had brought a water gun on the bus a day earlier. On Wednesday, unbeknown to his parents, the boy stowed his cap gun — from Frontier Town near Ocean City — inside his backpack as he left for school.
He told his mother after the incident that he had “really, really” wanted to show his friend.
The mother was called by the principal at 10:50 a.m. and was told that her son had the cap gun and pretended to shoot someone on the bus. She said that both the kindergartner and his first-grade sister, sitting nearby on the bus, disputed that account.
The mother said the principal told her that if the cap gun had been loaded with caps, it would have been deemed an explosive and police would have been called in.
School officials said the boy was suspended for being in possession of a “look-alike gun.”
The boy’s mother is a high school teacher in Calvert who “strongly supports the school system and loves the teachers at her son’s school” and she and her husband are active in the community.
But support for the school aside, she says the interrogation process was over the line.
“The school was quite obviously taking it very seriously, and he’s 5 years old,” she said. “Why were we not immediately contacted?”
“Kids play cowboys and Indians,” the family’s attorney added, saying the boy’s age is important in this situation. “They play cops and robbers. You’re talking about a little 5-year-old here.”
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(H/T: TheDC). Featured image shutterstock.com (it’s a stock photo. Not the actual kid).