Civil Liberties

Toy Gun 911

Fake gun, real suspension


Aidan Clark and Khalid Caraballo, seventh graders at Larkspur Middle School in Virginia, have been suspended for the remainder of the year because they played with a pellet gun before coming to school. A third student was reportedly also suspended but was not identified in media reports. A neighbor had called 911 on the boys because it made her "uncomfortable" to see them play with a gun, even though she knew it wasn't real.

The school's principal, Matthew Delaney, defended the disciplinary action in a public statement, declaring it his "sincere hope" that the suspended students "will learn important life lessons; the most important being that there will be consequences when they do things that can result in harm to another person." Playing with a pellet gun, he continued, was a "dangerous situation that involved the intervention of law enforcement."