A Troy, Illinois preschool suspended a four-year-old boy and called the Department of Children and Family Services to report his parents, all because the child brought a shell casing of a bullet to school.
According to the boy’s mother, Kristy Jackson, a teacher informed her that her son Hunter had brought a “shotgun bullet” to A Place 2 Grow preschool. Jackson wrote on Facebook:
I was horrified. My kid? Who just spent the weekend learning gun safety? Well … when I was escorted to the office for a sit down. I 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.
I was handed a piece of paper. No words, just eyebrows raised in disgust at my son, explaining that his behavior warranted a 7 school day suspension. Which I still was expected to pay tuition for, of course. And a threat that if his enthusiasm for guns continued, he’d be permanently expelled.
See, here’s the thing. This was a teaching moment. He never hurt anyone, or threatened anyone. This could literally happen to ANY CHILD who happened to find one on the ground and thought it was cool. He does not have access to ANY weapon in our home. This could have been handled by explaining appropriate behavior at school.
Jackson stated that the school intimated that if Hunter’s “enthusiasm for guns continued, he’d be permanently expelled.”
Hunter’s grandfather is a Caseyville police officer. Kristy Jackson said he has been teaching his grandson about responsible gun use. She told FOX2Now:
[Hunter] just was wandering around in a field and picked up and put it in his pocket and didn’t tell his parents … it’s paranoia. 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. It just means his school doesn’t want him there because of things he enjoys.
The school’s director wrote Jackson, telling her Hunter had repeatedly been reminded about using other toys as make believe guns, in violation of school policy.
School president Sarah Jarman wrote to parents: “As a provider of early childhood education, we are charged with introducing a curriculum that is appropriate for every child in a classroom. The introduction of firearms safety into the classroom is not included in our curriculum. We view and understand that it is a very personal decision that each parent has the right to make.”