Two seventh-graders in Virginia Beach were suspended until June (their parents are calling it an expulsion) today over an incident that occurred in one of the boys' yards, WAVY reports. Aidan Clark and Khalid Caraballo were waiting for the school bus on Sept. 12 and playing with airsoft guns, which shoot plastic pellets and are designed to be non-lethal. They say they never left Khalid's property; the bus stop is about 200 feet away. They admitted shooting two other friends who were with them. But Aidan says of one of them, "He knew we had the airsoft gun. He knew we were playing. We were shooting at the tree, but he still came and even after he was shot he still played."
It's not clear how the school (which has a zero tolerance weapons policy) learned of the incident, but on Sept. 9, a neighbor had called 911 to report that Khalid was shooting his airsoft gun in the front yard. (Police are not charging anyone.) After a school investigation into the Sept. 12 incident, the boys were suspended for possession, handling, and use of a firearm; this morning, that was changed to a long-term suspension by unanimous vote. The school principal says one of the boys who was hit was just 10 feet from the bus stop, but Khalid's mother insists the school has no jurisdiction until her son is actually at the bus stop. Khalid sees the incident as dooming his college chances. "It's on your school record. The school said I had possession of a firearm. They are going to think it was a real gun, and I was trying to hurt someone. They will say 'oh, we can't accept you.'" (Read more zero tolerance stories.)