The suspension of a fifth-grader who pretended like his finger — a “level 2 lookalike firearm” — was a gun has been upheld by a Columbus, Ohio, schools hearing officer.
Nathan Entingh, 10, was previously suspended for three days from Devonshire Elementary School under a no-tolerance policy after he pointed his finger like a gun while “playing.” The school district was pelted with criticism after claiming the boy exposed other children to a “level 2 lookalike firearm.”
On Monday, a hearing officer upheld the suspension and also reportedly offered to change the offense to committing a “volatile act,” school district spokesman Jeff Warner told the Columbus Dispatch. The offer was reportedly turned down by the boy’s grandfather, Bill Entingh, who said the family plans to appeal the ruling.
If the appeal is unsuccessful, the family will take the case to court, he said.
Because Bill Entingh is not Nathan’s legal guardian, Warner said the district doesn’t recognize his authority to make those types of decisions.
“I think it’s a huge leap to call a finger a gun and I think it’s terrible to suspend a 10-year-old for three days for playing,” the grandfather told the New York Daily News on Tuesday. “The principal made it look as bad as possible.”
It wasn’t immediately clear where Paul Entingh, the boy’s father, was during the hearing.