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'Finger gun' suspension reversed

Jan. 4, 2013 at 2:49 PM

SILVER SPRING, Md., Jan. 4 (UPI) -- School authorities in Maryland have rescinded the suspension of a 6-year-old who made the shape of a gun with his hands and said "pow," a family attorney said.

The boy, a first grader at Roscoe R. Nix Elementary School in Silver Spring, had been handed a one-day suspension for making the gesture one week after 20 students and six staffers were shot and killed in the Dec. 14 massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn.

Montgomery County Public School official, in a disciplinary letter, had initially characterized the boy's gesture as a threat "to shoot a student," and said he had been warned "about a similar incident" that occurred prior to the gesture that resulted in the suspension.

Robin Ficker, a lawyer for the boy's family, said the school had not told the boy's parents what the previous incident entailed.

Ficker said school authorities rescinded the suspension and agreed to expunge the matter from the boy's permanent school record, The Washington Post reported Friday. Ficker said school officials informed the family Thursday in a letter critical of the boy's behavior it would reverse the suspension.

A Montgomery County Public Schools spokesman told the Post the district does not comment publicly on discipline of individual students.

Ficker told the Post the boy's mother "let out a whoop" when she was told the suspension would be rescinded.

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