Alexandria school officials have cleared the record of a Douglas MacArthur Elementary School student who brought a plastic toy gun to school in February, according to the Washington Post.
The fifth-grader, age 10, showed the toy gun to students on a school bus on Feb. 4. The family’s lawyer told the Post that the clearance was granted on the basis of a privacy rights violation stemming from when school officials showed a video of the bus ride to other children’s parents.
The student’s mother said he was suspended for 10 days with a recommendation for expulsion but missed only six days of class.
Alexandria City Public Schools Superintendent Morton Sherman later said school officials acted appropriately with the information it had at the time. Sherman said that a school principal or assistant principal facing a similar incident would call the Central Office, which would then call the police.
The Alexandria branch of the NAACP criticized the student’s arrest, calling it “senseless” and “insensitive” in a statement sent to Patch. The student is African American. The boy’s mother also criticized the handling of the case.
A criminal charge against the student, who was arrested the following day at school, was later dropped. When his backpack was searched, school officials found the toy gun and called police.