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Suspension Rescinded for 6-Year-Old Who Made Shooting Gesture

The boy was sent home for one day after making a hand gesture in the shape of a gun.

A 6-year-old boy at Roscoe Nix Elementary in Silver Spring no longer has a suspension on his school record after his principal decided to rescind the punishment Thursday, the boy's lawyer said.

In late December, the student's teacher said the child formed his hands in the shape of a gun and pointed at another student, saying "pow." He was suspended for one day as a result. 

Robin Ficker, attorney for the student's family, said Principal Annette Ffolkes sent a letter to the boy's parents on Jan. 3 stating that the suspension had been taken off of his record. 

Roscoe Nix made national headlines earlier this week when news outlets reported that the school sent a letter to the boy's parents detailing his one-day suspension and citing a previous incident in which it was alleged that the boy threatened to shoot another student. Ficker said the school did not give the student's parents any information about the first threat and that the parents were not aware of it.

Ficker said the student's parents were concerned with the wording of the punishment and future implications it could have as it followed the child on his permanent record. 

"Here's a 41-pound kid pointing his finger at another student and they said he was suspended for 'threatening to shoot another student,'" Ficker told Patch.

"That's the worst possible interpretation you could put on that—they didn't say he was suspended for pretending to shoot; they didn't say he was suspended for pointing his finger at another student." 

A reinstatement conference was scheduled for Wednesday, Jan. 2, but Ficker said that the principal refused to hold the meeting because the school board attorney wasn't present. Principal Ffolkes was not available to comment before this story was published. 

The boy went back to school this week.

“The parents and the child are delighted with the result. We received calls from around the nation and many other parts of the world expressing support for the positions we took in this matter,” Ficker said in a statement. 

Dana Tofig, spokesperson for Montgomery County Public Schools, said that the district does not comment on disciplinary actions regarding students.

Brittany Marie January 07, 2013 at 03:36 PM
I am torn about this. He is a an "innocent" kid, but kid aren't so innocent anymore. Mass murderers are becoming younger and younger and I have shadowed attorneys in juvey court. For the most part I do think it was drastic, there are levels the school could have executed to warn him and make sure he didn't do it again before putting him out of school. The first time the parents heard about it should NOT have been suspension.
Craig January 11, 2013 at 12:33 PM
No way he should've gotten suspended. This was a knee-jerk reaction without stepping back and truly assessing the situation. Punished and parents contacted? For sure. Suspended? Seems pretty harsh.

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