Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry filed Monday a motion in support of Ka’Mauri Harrison, the fourth-grader who was recommended for expulsion after moving a BB gun that his brother had tripped over during a virtual class.
Mr. Landry’s motion seeks to join a federal lawsuit filed by Nyron Harrison, Ka’Mauri’s father, against the Jefferson Parish School Board in October for allegedly exceeding its authority by “purporting to regulate non-disruptive conduct in a student’s private home.”
“Attorney General Landry has long maintained that an individual’s private home is not an extension of the classroom, and he has taken a number of actions to defend Ka’Mauri and other students who were sent into a bureaucratic abyss for no reason and told there is no way out,” said Mr. Landry’s office in a press release.
The 9-year-old was taking a test via remote learning on Sept. 11 when his brother entered their shared bedroom and knocked over the Daisy BB gun, placing it in view of the teacher and class.
A student at Woodmere Elementary School in Harvey, Ka’Mauri “safely and responsibly moved a BB gun his younger brother had accidentally knocked over,” said the release.
Ka’Mauri was initially accused of “bringing a federally banned weapon to school,” but a hearing officer later determined that he was “guilty of displaying a facsimile weapon while receiving virtual instruction from Woodmere Elementary School,” according to the lawsuit. He was suspended for six days.
Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards, a Democrat, signed in November the Ka’Mauri Harrison Act, which expanded due process protections for students on discipline in virtual learning.
The attorney general’s office said that the school board “has interpreted and applied state law improperly by imposing mandatory expulsion statutes to conduct that is neither prohibited nor even covered by existing school discipline statutes.”
“The Jefferson Parish School Board has violated state law over and over,” said the Republican Landry. “It is unfortunate that we have had to go to such lengths to correct the Board’s egregious behavior and misinterpretation of the law. The Legislature even unanimously passed a law expressly reaffirming that the home is not school property and discipline policies cannot treat it the same.”
Mr. Harrison’s lawsuit was filed in U.S. District Court in the Eastern District of Louisiana.