First-Grader Suspended for Pointing Fingers in Shape of Gun; Parents Say Punishment Seems ‘Extreme’
A first-grader was suspended from a Colorado elementary school for making a gun gesture with his hands during class Monday.
Stratton Meadows Elementary School suspended six-year-old Elijah for one day after making the gesture and saying, “You’re dead,” KRDO-TV reported.
His parents were not happy about the punishment issued by the school.
“I know they have zero tolerance, but more of a maybe no recess,” Elijah’s dad Austin Thurston told KRDO. “Going as far as a one-day suspension is a little extreme for a six-year-old in a first-grade class.”
Elijah had minor behavioral incidents at his former school, but had not been in trouble at Stratton Meadows until the Monday incident. His dad thinks he was simply playing around when he made the gesture.
“Of course I think he was playing,” Thurston said. “What six-year-old doesn’t play cops and robbers, or cowboys and Indians?”
Regardless, the father of the six-year-old has talked to his child about the incident and says Elijah will write an apology letter — despite it not being required by the school.
“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,” Thurston told KRDO. “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.”