WAVY, the NBC affiliate in Hampton Roads, Virginia asks "has zero tolerance gone too far?" as it reports this story:
A suspended seventh grade Virginia Beach student will find out soon if he is expelled for the rest of the year for shooting an airsoft gun.
Like thousands of others in Hampton Roads, Khalid Caraballo plays with airsoft guns. Caraballo and his friend Aidan were suspended because they shot two other friends who were with them while playing with the guns as they waited for the school bus.
The two seventh graders say they never went to the bus stop; they fired the airsoft guns while on Caraballo's private property.
Aidan's father, Tim Clark, told WAVY.com what happened next lacks commons sense. The children were suspended for possession, handling and use of a firearm.
The "fire" in firearm, of course, refers to gunpowder, which a pellet gun doesn't have. Six children were playing in the Caraballo front yard all together, and the school suspended three it said had discharged the "firearm" near the school bus stop. The school found out about the kids playing around because a neighbor, the mother of one of the children not suspended, called 911. WAVY tracked her down:
She confirmed Khalid was taking target practice using a zombie hunter airsoft gun to kill the zombies. There was also a net behind the target to catch the plastic pellets.
The caller also knew the gun wasn't real and said so, "This is not a real one, but it makes people uncomfortable. I know that it makes me (uncomfortable), as a mom, to see a boy pointing a gun," she told the 911 dispatcher.
The students' expulsion hearing was today.
More Reason on zero tolerance here.