- The Washington Times - Thursday, March 23, 2017

Parents in Collinsville, Illinois, were stunned this week when their 4-year-old was suspended from preschool for 7 days after bringing an empty shell casing into the building.

A Place to Grow sent a letter to Kristy Jackson and her husband on Tuesday regarding their son’s behavior. Administrators said Hunter Crowe must be punished for showing friends a metal bullet casing and regularly turning toys into imaginary guns. The item was secretly taken off a range that the boy attended with his grandfather — a police officer.

“This is a spent .22 caliber bullet casing,” Mrs. Jackson told a St. Louis Fox affiliate on Wednesday. “I was met with a stone-faced teacher who said that my son had a ‘shotgun bullet.’ I was horrified thinking, ‘where could he have gotten this?”

Mrs. Jackson was interviewed after a Facebook post she wrote spread throughout her community.

“I never thought this could happen to us. You see stuff on the news like this,” she wrote Tuesday on her Facebook page. “This doesn’t hurt him, or teach him, or help him. Just his parents, who do not condone bringing these kinds of things to school. Ever. Had we known, we of course would have stopped it. But every time he or another child mentions a gun (like every boy I grew up with did) they punish him.”

The note that school officials sent home framed the boy’s imagination as a disciplinary problem.

“Hunter has been told that guns, hunting, etc., are not subjects that are to be discussed in school. He has been redirected to other activities when he has chosen to make guns out of other toys,” the letter read.

A school official told the Fox affiliate that its discipline policy was followed correctly, although details could not be shared due to confidentiality concerns.

“[Hunter has] cried about it and he doesn’t understand why his school hates him,” Mrs. Jackson told the station. “I’m not sure how a 7-day suspension teaches my son anything about tolerance or anything about why he was wrong. It just means his school doesn’t want him there because of things he enjoys.”

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