A Colorado Springs school sent police to the home of a 12-year-old because he was seen playing with a toy gun during an online class.
Danielle Elliott, whose son, Isaiah, pointed the toy gun at a computer screen and pulled the trigger during his virtual art class, said she received a call on Aug. 27 from the school saying that a police officer was on the way to her home.
“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.
The incident happened on the third day of distance learning at Grand Mountain School. Elliott said her son’s art teacher emailed her, saying she had notified the vice principal that her son was distracted and playing with a gun. The teacher said she believed the gun was fake.
The gun Isaiah showed was black and green with the words “Zombie Hunter” on the side.
According to The Washington Post, Elliott responded to the teacher telling her it was a toy gun and that she would talk to her son about the incident when she got home from work.
Isaiah, Elliott told Fox News, has attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder and is easily distracted.
Elliott said she did not know if the school realized her son’s life could have been put in danger by their reaction.
“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 told the school.
The school posted a comment on its Facebook page, addressing the issue.
“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.”
Commenters blasted the school’s response, most asking why the school was recording students in their homes without parents’ knowledge or permission.
According to a police report obtained by television station KOAA, a school resource officer reviewed the recording made of the class. It showed Isaiah and another boy pointing the toy gun at the computer screen.
The Elliotts have removed their son from the school, according to the Post, and placed him on a list for a spot in a charter school.