Parents Outraged Police Show Up At
Their Home After Their Son’s Teacher
Complained About Him ‘Waving’ A
Toygun During A Lesson
A 12-year-old Colorado boy was suspended from school for five days after his teacher claimed he was waving a toy gun around during a virtual lesson.
Grand Mountain School student Isaiah Elliot was on his third day of school when he was suspended on Aug. 27, according to BuzzFeed News. Dani Elliot, his mother, told the news site her son was punished because he was seen holding a toy gun during an art lesson. The seventh grader was watching the lesson while sitting on a couch in his Colorado Springs home. One of Isaiah’s classmates was also present.
The teacher claimed Isaiah was “waving” the gun around but Dani Elliot insisted her son simply moved the toy from one side of the screen to another. Her husband, Curtis, told KDVR the toy “just flashed across the school computer screen for maybe one or two seconds at the most.”
The teacher also complained about Isaiah being “extremely distracted.” His mother told Buzzfeed her son suffers from attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and the school “had been made well aware” of his condition.
The teacher reported the incident to Vice Principal Keri Lindaman, who contacted the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office and asked them to go to the Elliots’ home for a wellness check. In a police report, the responding officer noted the teacher told Lindaman she “assumed it was a toy gun but was not certain.”
The police report states Isaiah and his classmate were playing around by handling the gun and pointing it at the screen and pulling the trigger. The other boy reportedly also received a five-day suspension.
The responding deputy reportedly gave Isaiah a lecture at his home after being admitted by his father and followed up the next day by speaking with the other boy and his mother at their home. He told both of them they could face criminal charges if it happened again. The Elliots believe the situation could have been avoided with a phone call. The couple said they did not know the school was concerned until the cops were already en route.
“If her main concern was his safety, a two-minute phone call to me or my husband could easily have alleviated this whole situation to where I told them it was fake,” she told KDVR.
The Elliots believe it was irresponsible for school officials to send the police to a Black household.
“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,” Curtis Elliot said.
“Parents of African American children go above and beyond to protect our children and ensure their future,” Dani Elliot told BuzzFeed. “Until you’ve lived this life, until you’ve experienced discrimination and hardships that come along with being born a certain skin color. … I thank God that it didn’t go another way and my son is still here with me.”
“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,” Curtis said.
In a statement to KDVR, the school district emphasized its priority was safety.
“Privacy laws prevent us from sharing students’ personal information which includes disciplinary action,” the district said. “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.”