An Illinois preschool has suspended a 4-year-old boy and called child services after mistakenly thinking he brought a bullet to the school that was actually just a shell casing.
The boy’s mother, Kristy Jackson, wrote a Facebook post claiming that after she went to pick up her son, Hunter, from the preschool, she was quickly escorted to the principal’s office. The school accused her son of bringing a bullet to the school, Reason reported.
The so-called “bullet,” however, turned out to be just a shell casing, which the 4-year-old boy most likely picked up over the weekend when he was learning about guns and gun safety from his grandfather, a police officer.
“When I was escorted to the office for a sit down, I was handed a tiny .22 empty brass casing. Not a ‘shotgun bullet,'” Jackson recalled. “He found it on the ground, expelled from a 22 rifle over the weekend, while Hunter was target practicing with his Police Officer Grandpa. He was so excited, and snuck it to school to show his friends. We had no idea about it.”
“He never hurt anyone, or threatened anyone,” she continued. “This could literally happen to ANY CHILD who happened to find one on the ground and thought it was cool. He does not have access to ANY weapon in our home. This could have been handled by explaining appropriate behavior at school.”
The school, A Place 2 Grow located in Troy, Illinois, suspended Hunter for seven days and advised the parent that if his “enthusiasm for guns continued,” he would be permanently expelled from the preschool. The school’s vice-president also emailed Jackson saying he notified the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) about the incident.
According to school officials, the boy was suspended not solely because of the shell casing—he also pretended his toys were guns, which violates the school’s policies.
“As a provider of early childhood education, we are charged with introducing a curriculum that is appropriate for every child in a classroom,” school President Sarah Jarman wrote in a letter to parents.
“The introduction of firearms safety into the classroom is not included in our curriculum. We view and understand that it is a very personal decision that each parent has the right to make.”