A 6-year-old Montgomery County boy was recently suspended from school for making a gun gesture with his thumb and forefinger. Now, his family has retained a lawyer and is fighting back.
The boy is a student at Roscoe Nix Elementary School in Silver Spring. His attorney, Robin Ficker, says that school officials overreacted to the gesture, since it came a week after the mass shooting at an elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut, in which 20 elementary school students and 6 staff members were killed.
A letter was sent home to the boy's parents, informing them that he would not be allowed to return from winter break on Wednesday with the rest of the student body. The suspension was only to be for that day.
At issue, Ficker told News4's Jackie Bensen, is whether the boy understands the implications of the gesture. After speaking to his young client, Ficker is convinced that the boy does not.
"He doesn't understand," Ficker says. "The law says he is not old enough to form intent."
The Montgomery County school system does not comment on individual student disciplinary matters. But spokesman Dana Tofig told News4: "Generally, in an incident involving the behavior of our younger students, we will make sure that the student and his family are well-informed of any behavior that needs to change and understand the consequences if the behavior does not change."
According to school system policy, the suspension ruling can be appealed within ten days.