School board takes back 8-year-old's finger gun suspension

Oct. 16, 2013 at 5:14 PM

ST. CLOUD, Fla., Oct. 16 (UPI) -- A Florida school board has expunged an 8-year-old boy's suspension for using his finger as a toy gun and replaced it with an excused absence.

Bonnie Bennett, whose son, Jordan, was suspended from the Harmony Community School near St. Cloud in September for using his finger to mimic a gun, said the Osceola School Board took away the suspension late last week and apologized Tuesday night for the incident, WKMG-TV, Orlando, Fla., reported Wednesday.

"This should not have happened to an 8-year-old child," Bennett told board members. "This punishment was a result of an overzealous administration in my opinion."

Jay Wheeler, the Osceola County School Board Chairman, said he believes school staff members erred in deciding the boy's actions constituted a code of conduct violation.

"I don't think the code of conduct is the issue. What happened in this incident was not violent, there was no assault, no battery, and no profanity. It defies logic," Wheeler said.

Wheeler apologized to Bennett during Tuesday night's meeting.

"There are rules and state statutes in place for contacting of parents for suspension and that I don't think we followed," Wheeler said.

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