Louisiana 4th grader suspended because BB gun was visible during virtual class session
A fourth grader in Louisiana was suspended from school and nearly expelled after his BB gun was seen on camera during a virtual class session, according to the New Orleans Advocate.
Ka Mauri Harrison, 9, was participating in a virtual class session with his Woodmere Elementary classmates. He was on the computer in his bedroom.
Ka Mauri’s younger brother entered the room and tripped over the BB gun while Ka Mauri was taking an English test. Ka Mauri leaned over and grabbed the BB gun and moved it away from his brother, next to his chair — and within view of his computer’s camera.
Ka Mauri was disconnected from the virtual class session minutes later. He had the computer muted during the test, so he hadn’t heard his teacher and didn’t know why he was kicked out of the class. The school called his parents and informed them of the suspension.
“Ka Mauri presented a weapon that appeared to be a rifle/shotgun during his Google Meets classroom session,” the behavior report said. “This is a violation of weapons in the classroom setting and a violation of the internet usage policy. He will be recommended for expulsion as per JPPSS policy.”
The school opted not to expel him, but suspended him for six days, citing the violation as “displaying a facsimile weapon while receiving virtual instruction.”
Ka Mauri’s family is considering legal action against the school system, after their appeal of the suspension was rejected. Their attorney, Chelsea Cusimano, told the Advocate, “It’s not ending here. It’s our intent to explore further options..”
Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry announced that the state Department of Justice would open an investigation into the incident, citing a possible constitutional infringement.
“I am alarmed by what appears to not only be multiple violations of both the State and Federal Constitutions, but also blatant government overreach by the school system,” Landry said in a news release. “I have begun investigating this matter and plan to take action in defense of this young man and his family and all families who could suffer the same invasion of their homes and constitutional rights.
“For anyone to conclude that a student’s home is now school property because of connectivity through video conferencing is absurd,” the statement continued. “It is ludicrous for this All-American kid to be punished for taking responsible actions just as it is for his parents to be accused of neglect.”
4th grader in Louisiana suspended when he picks up BB gun during virtual class
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