School board refuses to remove suspension from record of 9-year-old after teacher saw a BB gun during virtual classroom

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JEFFERSON PARISH, LA In September 2020, a 9-year-old boy was facing expulsion, but was later administered a school suspension for having a BB gun visible during a virtual classroom session. 

After the controversial suspension, it turns out that the school board is also refusing to remove the young boy’s suspension from his permanent record. 

 

While taking a test during a virtual learning session, student Ka’Mauri Harrison noticed that his teacher was frantically waving at him. At the time, Harrison was taking a test and his the was computer muted, so he could not hear what his teacher was saying. 

By the time Harrison could turn the sound on, the livestream had ended, so he did not know what the waving was all about. 

It turns out that the hubbub was linked to Harrison’s teacher having seen a BB gun inside of the child’s room, and the teacher subsequently reported the child to the school. 

At the time, Harrison was facing expulsion for the BB gun being visible during the stream. The visibility of the BB gun was being treated as though the 9-year-old boy had literally brought a gun to his school campus. 

Chelsea Cusimano, an attorney who was representing the boy’s family, characterized the imposition of school-ground rules enforced in someone’s actual home as an “injustice”:

“This is an injustice. It’s a systemic failure. They’re applying on-campus rules to these children, even though they’re learning virtually in their own homes.”

Apparently, the family and their respective attorney were not the only ones looking at the situation as an overreaction and overreach by school officials. 

Back in October, the Louisiana House of Representatives unanimously passed a bill coined as the “Ka’Mauri Harrison Act”. The sole purpose of the act is to afford families more protection from scenarios like this regarding active virtual learning sessions. 

Harrison wound up not being expelled, but he was suspended for three days in conjunction with having three unexcused absences on his school records, despite both the ACLU and the NRA being among those demanding that the suspension be completely rescinded. 

During a recent hearing held by the school board in an effort to get the record of suspension removed from the young boy’s school record, members of the board stood firm and even attempted to paint the child’s teacher as the victim.

School board member Simeon Dickerson posed a question to the child’s father during the December 4 hearing, asking him to ponder how the teacher “felt seeing” a BB gun on her computer screen: 

“I know what a BB gun looks like. And you know what it resembles? A real gun. OK? It resembles a real gun.”

Harrison’s family attorney, during the meeting, asked the child whether he brought a BB gun to school grounds: 

“Are you aware you were suspended because you brought a BB gun to school?”

Cusimano’s questioning during the hearing was to provide to get on record that Harrison did not bring any sort of BB gun on campus. 

As expected, the child answered with exactly that: 

“I didn’t bring my BB gun to school.”

Following the hearing, the board decided the child’s suspension would remain on his school record permanently. 

During the same hearing, school board member Mark Morgan admonished the fact that the media afforded the matter national media attention: 

“The only thing that hasn’t happened before is no one’s made this a media sensation. And the only reason that that happened is because of COVID, because we’re in a virtual world.”

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School calls police after seeing boy’s BB gun mounted in home during virtual class

June 13, 2020

BALTIMORE COUNTY, MD – Has common sense gone out the window entirely?

Police say they were called to a home in Maryland after school leaders spotted a BB gun in the home during a “virtual class session”.

The BB gun was spotted in the 11-year-old boy’s bedroom, Fox 45 News reports.

Courtney Lancaster, the boy’s mother, described her son – who is in fifth grade – as being a smart, but also being “all boy” when it comes to his interests: 

“He’s just a very intellectual child, but he’s all boy as well. He loves to be outside and play and ride his bikes and that sort of thing.”

Lancaster explained about how were child had learned how to handle airsoft and BB guns as a part of attaining his Eagle Scout ranks within the Boy Scouts. 

Outside of having learned to handle BB guns and the ilk, the boy has also trained in archery – which the child has his collection of BB guns and bows hung on a wall-mounted rack that was visible during a virtual learning session.

The boy’s mother said that’s what lead to police knocking on her door on June 1st:

“I answered the door. The police officer was, he was very nice. He explained to me that he was coming to address an issue with my son’s school,” she said.

“And then explained to me that he was here to search for weapons, in my home. And I consented to let him in. And then I, unfortunately, stood there and watched police officers enter my 11-year-old son’s bedroom.”

According to Lancaster, police told her that someone had spotted the BB gun while her son had his laptop open for virtual class.

She was blown away:

“I thought, this is outrageous. This is despicable. I had no idea what in the world could this be over? BB guns never even once entered my mind. How many 11-year-old boys have BB guns?”

The College Fix reports that the BB gun was “mounted on a pegboard in his bedroom.”

No charges were filed, but Lancaster says it was traumatizing to have the officers respond to the home.

On top of that, she said the school “principal initially compared bringing a weapon to a virtual class to bringing a gun to school.”

Lancaster pointed to the absurdity of the entire situation, rhetorically asking what were to happen if kitchen cutlery were visible during a school session: 

“So, what are the parameters? Where are the lines drawn? If my son is sitting at the kitchen island next to a butcher block, does that constitute a weapon? It’s not allowed at school, right? So, would my home then be searched because he’s sitting next to a butcher block?”

“I feel like parents need to be made aware of what the implications are, what the expectations are.”

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