Child's 'finger gun' suspension lifted

Feb. 19, 2013 at 4:44 PM

MANASSAS, Va., Feb. 19 (UPI) -- Virginia school officials agreed to rescind a disciplinary note after parents complained about their child being suspended for mimicking a gun with his fingers.

The child, 8, was playing with another boy who pretended to shoot him with a bow and arrow. The child in question "returned fire" by making a gun motion with his hands, pretending to shoot the other child.

Prince William County School District officials deemed the action "threatening to harm [himself] or others" and placed him on in-school suspension Feb. 8. The determination is a serious one, on par with bringing an actual weapon to school, district policy states.

The boy's parents were baffled, telling The Washington Post Monday their son was just pretending as any child could and didn't deserve to be suspended. A letter from the family's lawyer was enough to prompt school district officials to agree to remove the suspension from the child's file, though they remained defiant about the child's behavior, the family's lawyer said.

"It just seems when you're moving forward instead of backward you should be conciliatory," attorney Robin Ficker said. "I did not feel a whisper of conciliation in the letter."

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