How bad has the anti-gun hysteria gotten among some in our educational system? So bad that a grade-school student from Colorado Springs, Colo., was recently suspended for having a toy gun—in his own home!
Isaiah Elliott, who is 12 years old, was home last August participating in an online class. His school was closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Isaiah was sitting on his living room couch with his laptop computer. He was next to a friend who was also doing online class work with a different teacher. During his second-period class, Isaiah’s art teacher noticed the friend was holding a “gun” and asked Isaiah to move it off screen.
Isaiah then took the green toy pistol—which had the words “ZOMBIE HUNTER” emblazoned on one side—from his friend and placed it out of the teacher’s sight.
Afterwards, the art teacher informed her superior that a student had what looked like a gun. The school official called the police.
“They said they called the police for my son’s safety,” said Dani Elliott, Isaiah’s mother. “But, if they were so concerned about him and if they really thought his life might be threatened, why didn’t they call me immediately? And why did the police take four-and-a-half hours to get to our house?”
As was widely reported by local and national news media, Widefield School District 3, Isaiah’s school district at the time of this incident, repeated its “student-safety” mantra to explain the school’s reaction. The district also claimed Isaiah had violated school policy by bringing a “facsimile” firearm to school. Because of this, he was suspended for five days.
“But he was not at school,” said Elliott. “He was in our living room. Apparently, they have the right to dictate what goes on in our own home, over a Nerf gun no less!”
Elliott did receive an email from the school about an hour after the incident. She called the school and told them it was a toy gun. Bodycam footage (available on the internet) shows an El Paso County Sheriff’s office deputy at the school to take the complaint from school staff. The video shows one staffer admitting it was most likely a toy gun as they laughed over the incident.
“It really scared Isaiah when the deputy sheriff showed up,” said Elliott. “And I believe the school suspended my son to save face, to pretend they actually had some policy in place to cover this. They don’t. It’s our home, not the school building.”
Elliott soon pulled Isaiah out of the Widefield School District 3 and put him into a new school.
… “student safety” was given as the reason the police were called. The principal insisted that the school had “rules” concerning guns, rules which had to be followed whether in an actual classroom or online.
Isaiah’s parents do own firearms, which are stored in a gun safe. Elliott and her husband are also strong supporters of the Second Amendment, and she is concerned that student safety is being used as a smokescreen for the fact that some on the school’s staff dislike guns.
“Are they really that anti-gun?” she asked. “As extreme as their reaction was, I have to wonder.”
Actually, schools and educators have a history of participating in what the NRA-ILA has called a “cultural campaign to label firearms and firearm ownership as socially unacceptable.” This goes back to at least 2014, which is when NRA-ILA noted: “The cultural campaign to label firearms and firearm ownership as socially unacceptable claimed another victim … when a ‘virtual’ school demanded that an elementary school student remove an image of a firearm from his online profile.”
The 2014 incident centered on Wisconsin Virtual Learning, a Wisconsin public charter school that provided elementary- and high-school students with the opportunity to attend school online from home.
As part of his online school profile, an 11-year-old student named Matthew uploaded a picture of a pistol on top of an American flag. A school official contacted Matthew and told him to change the image, saying, “No guns in school, even virtual schools.”
Matthew was also told he could not use the Second Amendment as a school paper topic.
More recently, police searched the home of a fifth-grade student. After this student attended a virtual class in the Baltimore County Public Schools, the principal informed the police that the student was seen with “weapons.” Those “weapons” were actually BB guns on a peg board behind the student.
As Fox Baltimore noted, “student safety” was given as the reason the police were called. The principal insisted that the school had “rules” concerning guns-rules which had to be followed whether in an actual classroom or online.
Just two weeks after Isaiah’s ordeal in Colorado, a fourth-grader enrolled at Woodmere Elementary in Harvey, La., “was taking a virtual class in his bedroom when his younger brother came into the room and tripped over a BB gun,” according to the New Orleans Advocate.
“The 9-year-old leaned away from his English test, grabbed the unloaded BB gun and put it next to his chair, away from his brother but in view of the computer camera that showed the scene to his teacher and classmates.”
The result? A six-day suspension for the child.
As the NRA-ILA noted in the Wisconsin incident, these calls to the police, suspensions and other punishments meted out to the students, “are a form of political activism and social engineering designed to promote the idea that firearms and firearm owners are deviant and inherently threatening. Such censorship may also infringe upon constitutionally protected freedom of expression.”
As Dani Elliott said, “So, a bright green Nerf gun with an orange tip is a threat that brings the police into our home? What’s next? Are these people going to start boycotting the toy gun industry? It’s ridiculous.”