HOPKINTON (CBS) – A Hopkinton mother is outraged her five-year-old son received a suspension for bringing a toy gun to school. Christina Stone says administrators at Center School in Hopkinton overreacted to the toy which her son, Jonah, recently got on a family vacation to Arizona, and says no violence was implied.
“He just showed it to a friend and told the friend to play with it if he wants,” according to Stone, who says she was unaware Jonah had put the toy in his pocket before school. But that immediately caught the attention of teachers and Jonah was called to the principal’s office while his mother was called at work and told there was an issue.
“When they brought him to the principal’s office he was gulping and holding his neck. It was hard for him to swallow and you could tell he was absolutely terrified,” she said.
But terrified is what school administrators worried other children might be with Jonah’s toy and handed him a suspension. “I thought to myself this seems too much punishment. He wasn’t trying to shoot it at anyone or anything like that,” she said.
Stone says she’s sensitive to recent incidents of gun violence at schools, but says the school handbook doesn’t address these toys. Jonah was given a half-day in-school suspension, which means he’ll spend his time in the principal’s office.
Christina Stone is appealing the decision and believes the time he’s already spent in the office should be enough. “To me the toy gun isn’t something he was going to hurt somebody with so I don’t think of him as bringing something dangerous to school,” she says.
Stone says she now has to discuss gun violence and recent tragedies with her five-year-old and worries he’s afraid and confused. “I don’t know how to tell him why bringing the toy to school is bad. He doesn’t understand,” she said. Stone has scheduled a meeting with the superintendent hoping to the get the suspension lifted.