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Boy, 9, Suspended for BB Gun Spotted on Zoom

Louisiana student's parents are now suing
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 5, 2020 4:21 AM CDT

(Newser) – A Louisiana 4th-grader was suspended from school for six days after a teacher spotted what turned out to be a BB gun on his screen during a virtual class on Sept. 11. Now the 9-year-old's parents are suing, CNN reports. During a hearing last month, the school board found Ka'Mauri Harrison "guilty of displaying a facsimile weapon while receiving virtual instruction from Woodmere Elementary School," per the lawsuit, which seeks at least $50,000 for "mental pain, suffering, anguish and embarrassment, humiliation and loss of self-esteem, future counseling and tutoring and lost income." It also requests Ka'Mauri be allowed to make up the work he missed. Per NOLA, Ka'Mauri was taking a test in his bedroom when his brother came in and tripped over the gun, which was next to Ka'Mauri's desk. Ka'Mauri moved it to the other side, leaning it against the desk.

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The teacher, who could then see the gun's barrel on camera, attempted to get Ka'Mauri's attention but he had his volume down. He was then disconnected from the class. His mother called the school and was told the incident had been reported to the principal; her son was recommended for expulsion, though that did not come to pass. The school district has not commented on the case, but says teachers "may employ reasonable disciplinary and corrective measures to maintain order." A lawyer for Ka'Mauri's family, who says Ka'Mauri's record now lists a weapons violation, says the teacher went too far in applying the school's on-campus weapons policy to a remote learning class. She also tells WDSU the district did not allow the family to appeal. The Louisiana AG's office investigated the incident and told the school last month that Ka'Mauri's constitutional rights afford him an appeal. (Read more remote learning stories.)

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