Isaiah Elliott Colorado Springs 12 year old boy suspended over toy gun seen in virtual class as parents fret after police arrived at home searching for live gun.
Isaiah Elliott, 12, was taking an online art class through his Colorado Springs grade school on August 27 when he flashed the green-and-black mock gun, which bore the words ‘Zombie Hunter’ and an orange tip to differentiate it from a real gun, according to KDVR.
The teacher notified the school’s principal, who suspended Elliott for five days and called the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office without first talking to Elliott’s parents, who both say the school and the Sheriff’s Department ‘went overboard.’
‘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,’ Dani Elliott, Isaiah’s mom, told KDVR referencing the teacher.
Instead, deputies came to the home to verify the gun existence’s along with warning Elliott not to show it during class again or threaten to press charges. Deputies also discovered the boy owning a collection of toy guns that the child has never taken out of his home.
School having to make allowances for home settings
‘I didn’t know what was going to happen. I didn’t know if they were going to bust down the door,‘ Dani Elliott told the media outlet. ‘My heart was beating super fast.’
Elliott, who has attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, said that he was just trying to move the toy when he inadvertently flashed it across the screen.
‘I didn’t mean to put it across the camera or anything,’ the boy said. ‘I just wanted to move it across the couch.’
His father, Curtis Elliott, said school officials have to understand that the virtual classes necessitated by the COVID-19 pandemic have brought teachers into students’ homes, where expectations must be different from classrooms.
‘The virtual setting is not the same as the school setting,’ the father said. ‘He did not take the toy gun to school. He’s in the comfort of his own home. It’s a toy.’
The dad added that he was particularly afraid for his son as a young black boy growing up in America.
‘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,’ he told KDVR. ‘I literally was scared for his life.’
Zombie school policy?
‘This could potentially impact his future. … Look at everything that’s going on in the world today,’ Dani Elliot told BuzzFeed News. ‘God forbid something happens to my son down the road, people could look at this and decide he doesn’t deserve justice. I know that sounds extreme. … It’s a very real reality for us.’
Real world issues a 12 year old black boy will most likely have to contend with growing up. Which is to wonder, would Isaiah have been suspended or had cops called to the family home if he were white?
In a statement posted to Facebook, school officials defended their handling of the situation.
‘We never have or ever will condone any form of racism or discrimination. Safety will always be number one for our students and staff. We follow board policies and safety protocols consistently, whether we are in-person or distance learning,’ the statement read in part. ‘We will continue to support all families in our school to make sure they feel safe, respected, and educated.’
Elliott’s parents now say they intend to find a new school for their son.