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School called police, suspended Black child who played with toy gun in virtual class

The 12-year-old has a mark on his school records saying he brought "a facsimile of a firearm to school" even though he was at home doing virtual learning.
Credit: KKTV via CBS News

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — A 12-year-old boy was suspended and had law enforcement called to him home after reportedly playing with a toy gun during a virtual lesson.

KOAA reported the incident happened last week during a virtual art class at Grand Mountain School. The child's mother, Danielle Elliott, told the news outlet that she received an email from his teacher about him not paying attention during class and playing with what appeared to be a toy gun.

Elliott said she told the teacher that it was just a toy, KOAA reported, but then she found out a school resource officer would come to their home.

She also shared a photo of the toy gun with several news outlets, including KOAA and the Washington Post. The toy is a Umarex "Zombie Hunter" airsoft bb gun with a bright green barrel and an orange disc at the end of the barrel.

"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," Elliott said about the school, the Post reported.

Elliott's son, Isaiah, was later suspended for five days, KDVR reported. The outlet said the El Paso County Sheriff's Office was also called to do a welfare check on the child.

"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," Elliott told KDVR.

Grand Mountain School had posted a statement to its Facebook page, but it was later taken down. The Post said the statement read, in part:

"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 newspaper also said Isaiah has a mark on his school records saying he brought "a facsimile of a firearm to school" even though he was at home doing virtual learning.

Elliott told KOAA that she removed her son from the school and is trying to enroll him elsewhere.

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