Update via the Daily Caller: The school district has doubled down and has expelled the two ‘shooters’ of toy guns for a year. It’s time for the parents to sue the district. Khalid wants to go to a good college and this could ruin the child’s educational career and his life. These school officials are out of their minds.
Virginia Beach seventh grader, Khalid Caraballo, was playing with an airsoft gun with his friends in his own front yard while waiting for the school bus when a neighbor called the police.
Khalid now faces the possibility of a year-long expulsion because the school has a zero-tolerance policy.
Khalid Caraballo, age 13 years
The neighbor said she knew the weapons were not real but the incident made her uncomfortable.
Khalid and his friend were suspended and had an expulsion hearing this past Monday.
The Principal, Matthew Delaney, stated in a letter that the “children were firing pellet guns at each other, and at people near the bus stop.” He further added that the “zero-tolerance” policy extends to private property. The suspension reads that the boys were charged with “possession and use of a firearm.” [A toy airsoft gun is NOT a FIREarm. It does not fire gun powder]
Reason magazine tracked down the parent of one of the children not suspended. She said that 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.
Khalid said the punishment is unfair and is worried about the suspension, which could turn into an expulsion. He said he is afraid it will hurt his chances of getting into a good college after high school. The school record claims he had possession of a FIREarm, which he clearly did not, and that he was trying to hurt someone, which this toy could not do.
Khalid said he would never do it again.
Airsoft guns are replica firearms used in airsoft (which is a game) that fire plastic or paintball pellets by way of compressed gas or electric and/or spring-driven pistons. These guns are designed to be harmless to others and to provide realistic replicas.
The principal’s deficit in knowledge of toy guns was evident when he made a point of saying they were plastic pellets as if that could be equated with bullets.
Zero-tolerance is a dangerous concept and does not allow for any common sense to come into play. It allows government officials to overreach and it usurps parental rights. Zero Tolerance policies make criminals out of good kids and crimes out of childrens’ play. This is probably a good example given we have all the information.
Virginia Beach Police Sergeant Adam Bernstein released the following statement with regards to this incident: ”We understand that a number of juveniles possess air soft guns and have “airsoft gun” wars with each other, but as it relates to the city code referenced above, they are in violation of the code if the juveniles are not exercising “reasonable care”. Also keep in mind that this is not something that we proactively seek out to enforce. If we receive a complaint (such as in the case for which you are doing the story on), we will investigate the call for service and enforce it appropriately, i.e. warning or prosecution. We want to stress to the parents of the juveniles and the operators of these type of “pneumatic guns” that they need to be handled responsibly and with reasonable care to ensure that the projectile is properly contained.”
Read more at wavy.com