- The Washington Times - Thursday, March 5, 2015

A 6-year-old Colorado boy was suspended from school Monday after he pointed his finger in the shape of a gun at another classmate and said, “You’re dead.”

Austin Thurston, whose son, Elijah, attends Stratton Meadows Elementary School in Colorado Springs, says he believes a one-day suspension for a make-believe gun is too extreme.

“I know they have zero tolerance, but more of a maybe no recess,” he told a local ABC affiliate. “Going as far as a one-day suspension is a little extreme for a 6-year-old in a first-grade class.”

According to Elijah’s behavior report, an administrator spoke with him about what being dead means and about not confusing games with reality, the station reported.

A spokeswoman for Harrison School District Two said school administrators felt they issued the appropriate disciplinary action, the station reported.

She also reportedly said the school speaks with parents before issuing a suspension and considers current as well as previous behaviors.

Elijah, who has been at the school since January, has had minor behavioral problems in his previous school, but this was the first incident at Stratton Meadows, his dad said. Mr. Thurston said he and his wife have spoken with the boy about guns, the station reported.

“We just told him there’s a time and a place for everything, and we told him school is never a place for that. We let him know that the guns in the wrong hands will be very dangerous,” he said. “He knows the difference between really doing that, and just putting your finger up and saying, ‘Boom, you’re dead.’ We made sure he understands the severity of what he said.”

Although the school didn’t require it, Elijah is writing a letter of apology to the school, the station reported.

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