The family of a Louisiana fourth-grader suspended for six days after his teacher spotted a BB gun in his bedroom during a virtual lesson have sued the public school system for more than $50,000, ABC reports.
The parents of Ka’Mauri Harrison filed the lawsuit against Jefferson Parish School Board on Friday for monetary damages and a hearing by school officials on the decision to discipline the boy as well as an opportunity for him to make up any work he missed during the six days he was suspended from class, The Times-Picayune / The New Orleans Advocate reported.
The school board during a September 22 hearing found Ka’Mauri “guilty of displaying a facsimile weapon while receiving virtual instruction from Woodmere Elementary School,” according to the lawsuit.
The child, 9, was taking a test during an online class Sept. 11 when his brother walked into the room they share and tripped over a BB gun on the floor, according to a school behavior report. It said Ka’Mauri left his seat, out of view of the teacher, and returned with “what appeared to be a full-sized rifle in his possession.”
“This case arises from egregious government overreach, complete lack of common sense to prevail and correct the glaring failures of local government officials to comply with the law,” the suit says. “The result is a terrifying intrusion into a family’s home and a bureaucratic nightmare.”
Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry has said he’s investigating the suspension and his office has learned of several other students “experiencing the same treatment by this and other school systems,” and believes that the student’s constitutional rights allow for an appeal, according to a letter his office sent to the school system on September 29.
The American Civil Liberties Union and the National Rifle Association have also spoken out in defense of the child.
The lawsuit accuses the school system of failing to provide Ka’Mauri’s family with a copy of its policies for online school at the start of the academic year and for infringing on the boy’s due process rights as he faced serious discipline.
Ka’Mauri’s father Nyron Harrison said, “it is very important to the family that this be dismissed, that it does not follow him in his educational career.”