Student back in class after bringing BB gun to school - WKRN News 2

Student back in class after bringing BB gun to school

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A Rutherford County second grader is back in school Monday after bringing a BB gun to school last week.

According to school officials the seven-year-old student had the unloaded BB gun on his school bus and on campus at Rockvale Elementary School.

School officials suspended him for the school week, but reinstated him to class and bus privileges on Monday.

School officials said the child's parents were allowing him to shoot the BB gun over the weekend. The parents did not know the boy placed the BB gun in his backpack and took it to school the following Tuesday.

Parents told News 2 they're upset the student was allowed back in class after a few days given the Rutherford County School District's zero tolerance policy for weapons.

According to the zero tolerance policy, students are to be expelled from school for at least a calendar year if they bring a weapon on to school property.

An expulsion is defined by the Rutherford County School policy handbook as removal from attendance for more than 10 consecutive days or more than 15 days in a month of school attendance.

The student was technically suspended from school.

The school district defines a suspension as being dismissed from attendance at school for any reason not more than 10 consecutive days.

"We took the situation very seriously and the student was disciplined," Rutherford County Schools Spokesman James Evans said in a written statement. "We've also worked with the student's parents to ensure he is not a threat to anyone at the school."

The state's zero tolerance law can be modified at the director of school's discretion on a case by case basis.

School officials said the student does not have a "record of this type of issue or any serious behavior problems."  

"When deciding the appropriate punishment for elementary school students, we consider the student's previous record, as well," Evans said. "Again we take school safety seriously and have taken the appropriate measures to ensure this student is not a threat to any other students.

In addition to the multi-day suspension, the student is on probation for a year with the school system. If he gets into trouble again he will be removed from the school, according to Evans.

Also, the student's backpack will be searched every morning before classes begin.

Parents at Rockvale Elementary who have children in the child's class were notified about the incident.

Darla Tuch's twin son and daughter are in kindergarten at Rockvale Elementary. She did not think the student's suspension went far enough.

"I don't think the kid should be allowed to come back for a while," she said. "We are talking elementary school and little kids who would not know how to protect themselves."

Ashton Edwards also has a child in kindergarten.

"They should have done a lot more than just pull him out of school for a couple days," she said. "It could have been a real gun."

More detailed information about the student and his punishment was not released by the school district in accordance with student privacy regulations.

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