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6-year-old suspended after pointing at classmate in shape of gun

Boy suspended after pointing at classmate in shape of gun

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - A Colorado Springs first-grader was suspended from school after pointing his fingers at a classmate in the shape of a gun.

Six-year-old Elijah goes to Stratton Meadows Elementary School. On Monday, he pointed at a classmate in the shape of a gun and said, "You're dead."

According to his behavior report, an administrator spoke with him about what being dead means and about not confusing "make-believe" or things in games with reality. And he received a one-day suspension for threats against peers.

"I know they have zero tolerance, but more of a maybe no recess," his dad, Austin Thurston said. "Going as far as a one-day suspension is a little extreme for a six-year-old in a first-grade class."

A spokesperson for Harrison School District 2, which Stratton Meadows is a part of, couldn't give specifics about the case, because it's part of the student's personal record. But she said school administrators feel they issued the appropriate disciplinary action.

She also said school staff speaks with students and parents before a suspension, and they consider current as well as previous behaviors.

Elijah has been at the school since January. His dad said while he had minor behavioral incidents in his previous school, this was the first time he got in trouble at Stratton Meadows.

"Of course I think he was playing," Thurston said. "What six-year-old doesn't play cops and robbers, or cowboys and Indians?"

Thurston said he and his wife have spoken with the boy about guns.

"We just told him there's a time and a place for everything, and we told him school is never a place for that. We let him know that the guns in the wrong hands will be very dangerous," he said. "He knows the difference between really doing that, and just putting your finger up and saying, 'boom you're dead.' We made sure he understands the severity of what he said."

Although the school didn't require it, Elijah is writing an apology letter to the school, stating he understands his actions.


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