A 9-year-old Dumfries boy was suspended for two days after making threats against a girl -- but due to budget cuts, he's missed more than a month of school.
Nick Williams was suspended from John F. Pattie Elementary School Feb. 27 after some teasing about a girl admittedly got out of hand, his mother said.
"I agree it was a little over the top," said Karen Williams. "He responded [to the teasing student], 'Well, if she tried to kiss me, I'd shoot her in the head and throw her off a building.'"
The mother of the girl told News4 that Nick had been bothering the girl for months in class and throughout the school.
Karen Williams and her husband had no problem with the two-day suspension handed down.
She said their son's language was strong , but he didn't mean it literally. But school officials say there is a process in place to make an official determination, and due to a backlog created by budget constraints, Nick Williams has been learning at home for more than a month now.
"He's falling behind. He's already missed a month," Karen Williams said.
They've been forced to wait until April to have the boy undergo a threat assessment by a specialist, as required by county school district policy.
"We have to wait for one person in the entire county to assess him?" she asked.
School board officials tell News4 that two additional specialists are being hired.
In the meantime, Nick Williams has had time on his hands to learn a lesson: "That you should really think before you say things, 'cause it could hurt people's feelings," he said.
He said he never intended to hurt the girl, who did not hear his comments directly.
His assessment is now scheduled for next week.