A 12-year-old Colorado student received a five day suspension and a visit from the police after a teacher spotted a toy gun during an online art class.
According to KTVR FOX 31 News, On Thursday, Aug. 27, Isaiah Elliott was participating in an online art class when the teacher saw him “flash” a toy gun across his computer screen.
The teacher notified the principal who suspended Elliot and sent the sheriff’s deputies over to his house to conduct a “welfare check.”
“It was really frightening and upsetting for me as a parent, especially as the parent of an African-American young man, especially given what’s going on in our country right now,” said Isaiah’s father, Curtis Elliott, in an exclusive interview with FOX31.
Curtis’ wife Dani Elliott was furious because the school made no attempt to contact them about the toy until after they had dispatched police to their house.
“For them to go as extreme as suspending him for five days, sending the police out, having the police threaten to press charges against him because they want to compare the virtual environment to the actual in-school environment is insane,” said Dani Elliott.
The parents requested a copy of the recorded class so they could review the incident but the school refused. However, the deputies body camera recorded the incident when he reviewed the video and showed it to the parents.
The video shows Isaiah picking up the toy that was sitting on his right side and move it across the computer and set it down on his left. The toy was only on screen for a few seconds and in no way was presented in a threatening manner.
“Just flashed across the school computer screen for maybe one or two seconds at the most,” said Curtis Elliott.
“It would’ve been a lot easier for me to understand if my son had made a threat,” said Dani Elliott.
Isaiah has been traumatized by the entire event.
“He was in tears when the cops came. He was just in tears. He was scared. We all were scared. I literally was scared for his life,” said Curtis Elliot, fearful that deputies might overreact to having the school principal tell them a young Black boy was potentially armed with a gun.
The school is refusing to apologize for the blatant over reaction as well as denying the parents access to the recorded class.
“Privacy laws prevent us from sharing students’ personal information which includes disciplinary action,” the statement reads. “We follow all school board policies whether we are in-person learning or distance learning. We take the safety of all our students and staff very seriously. Safety is always our number one priority.”
This is not the first time this has happened. A student last spring had the cops called on him last year when a BB gun was spotted in the background of his online school.
In that incident as well the school refused to show parents the video of the incident. Maybe it would not be a bad idea for parents to install screen capture software on their computers so they can monitor what is going on in their child virtual classroom.