Boy, 5, punished for bringing toy gun to school

Posted: 03/21/13 at 6:10 pm EDT      Last Updated: 03/22/13 at 1:10 pm EDT

HOPKINTON, Mass. (WHDH) – A Hopkinton woman says a school went too far when her son was sent to the principal's office for bringing a toy gun to the school.

Five-year-old Jonah Stone’s mother says a toy gun is what got him suspended for a half day Wednesday.

“So I went to the school and when I got there, they had said that he had a toy gun with him and that he was being suspended,” said Christina Stone, mother.

The boy told his mother he brought the toy gun to school in his jacket pocket and that when he pulled it out to show another student, he ended up in the principal's office.

“I’m pretty shocked, because he’s a kindergartner and he wasn’t being mean, he wasn’t trying to hurt people, he wasn’t trying to scare anyone. He wasn’t pulling the trigger,” Stone said.

Hopkinton School officials wouldn’t confirm the incident, but they say there is heightened awareness about school security after the shooting massacres at Sandy Hook Elementary school and other places.

When 7News asked if a kindergartner can be punished for bringing a toy gun to school, Superintendent Dr. Steven Hiersche replied, “I think the reality is, particularly when you’re talking about young kids, it’s handled on a case by case basis.”

Stone says when she and Jonah were meeting with the principal and a police officer, the Connecticut shootings came up. She says Jonah asked her, “What happened in Connecticut?” Stone said she was forced to explain what she had deliberately kept from her son.

“My heart really, really breaks for Sandy Hook and it’s different for every incident. Let’s face it, it’s been going on for years. But I don’t want my child to have to be having that put in his face,” Stone said. "Because that age group doesn't hear about this type of thing, they don't understand that this is going to scare people."

Other parents at the school had mixed feelings about a kindergartner being disciplined for bringing a toy gun to school.

“I think they should, because why are they bringing that to school? It’s not an appropriate place” a mother said.

“No, not suspended. I think the parents definitely need to be contacted immediately and spoken to,” said Mary Holden, a mother.

Stone and Jonah met with the superintendent on Friday. The school decided the boy does not have to serve the half-day in-school suspension.

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