Isaiah now has a record with the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office and a mark on his school disciplinary paperwork saying he brought a “facsimile of a firearm to school."
A school in Colorado called the cops on a 12-year-old boy for playing with a toy gun during a virtual art class. He was also suspended for five days, reports The Washington Post. Mom Dani Elliott says she was at work when she got the alarming call from her son's vice-principal. Elliott says she was terrified, especially because her son is Black. “I never thought: ‘You can’t play with a Nerf gun in your own home because somebody may perceive it as a threat and call the police on you,’” Elliott said. Her son Isaiah now has a record with the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office and a mark on his school disciplinary paperwork saying he brought a “facsimile of a firearm to school." The gun was a toy with 'Zombie Hunter' written on the side.
The school sent cops to the residence of Black child because he played with a toy gun *in his own house.* He was suspended for 5 days and now has a record saying he brought a “facsimile of a firearm to school.” https://t.co/013DK0e5mY— Doomscrolling Eternal (@hypervisible) September 8, 2020
Given that there's a rise in the number of crimes against Black people, Dani Elliott lashed out at the school for acting irresponsibly. “With the cultural events going on right now, especially for young African Americans, you calling the police and telling them that he could have a gun, you put his life in jeopardy,” she said. In a now-deleted post on Facebook, Grand Mountain School posted that they could not delve into the details of what happened on August 27th. “We never have or ever will condone any form of racism or discrimination,” the statement said. “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.”
While I think that sending the cops was the worst decision ever, I also think that the suspension and the record are legit.. since you are attending a class at home it doesn't mean you can do anything you want, you are still technically in school and it's penalties still apply— Matteo Bonesu (@MatBones89) September 9, 2020
Elliott revealed that Isaiah’s art teacher emailed her, saying that the vice principal had been notified since her son who has attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, was distracted and playing with a gun, which she believed was fake. Elliott responded by saying that it was fake and that she would talk to her son about keeping it away during class. But, by then, the vice principal had called a school resource officer to review a recording of the class. The officer viewed footage of Isaiah and another boy pointing the toy gun at the computer screen, according to a police report, obtained by KOAA. The other boy with the gun was a classmate who was studying at Elliott’s house at the time and deputies visited his house as well.
It's a dangerous precedent when schools can dictate how our children act/dress in their own homes— Nathan Wind aka Cochise🇲🇽💈📚 (@flounderinggull) September 8, 2020
Elliott's husband Curtis let the officers in when they came home and they explained to Isaiah that if he got a toy gun to school, they could file criminal charges against him. However, when Curtis reviewed the footage, he noticed that his son only moved the green toy gun from one side to the other — not waving it as the teacher alleged. Isaiah was traumatized by the experience, she said. “He was in tears when the police came,” Elliott said. “He was very scared. He said: ‘Mommy, I had butterflies in my stomach. I was scared and thought I was going to jail.’” Elliott and Curtis spoke to the school administrators, but they wouldn't change their mind on the decision made about Isiah's suspension.
Anyway we have let our schools become minimum security prisons where education is not the primary concern "security" is, we need to change this and stop traumatizing our children. They are the future of this country.— Nathan Wind aka Cochise🇲🇽💈📚 (@flounderinggull) September 9, 2020
“I said: ‘Black children cannot have that sort of thing on their record. You are reducing his chances at success,’” Elliott said she told school administrators. She also questioned why the school had notified the officials before getting in touch with the student's parents. Elliott said that the vice principal said their son’s safety was the school’s top priority. Elliott also criticized the school for recording the students in class as she revealed the school didn’t get permission from parents. In a statement, Grand Mountain School acknowledged that the digital platform used for virtual teaching by the school has a recording function.
Suspension, a police visit, AND a mark on his record...for a 12 year old...who didn't even play with a nerf gun....just moved it. Do teachers just think a "classroom" is their designated zone to live out their power fantasies on children? This is beyond disheartening.— Mandy Le (@mandyleart) September 8, 2020
“During our first week of school, we were still becoming familiar with the platform. It is not our current practice to record classes at this time. Parents will be notified if that changes,” the statement said. Elliot and her son have decided to pull their son out of this school. They are now placing him on a waitlist for a charter school. She said she hopes his next school better understands and works with students with ADHD. “I wish the world could see my son through the way I see him. He’s funny, compassionate, caring, goofy, and yeah, he gets distracted easily, but he’s a kid,” Elliott said. “I hate that the world doesn’t see him that way. It’s not fair.”
They were recording minors in their homes w/o consent nor knowledge.— kwiet (@Kwiet7) September 8, 2020
They said the system was New & that they didn't know how to properly use it yet provided video to the police.
Parents have a right to said video & the right to seek prosecution for the illegal recording.