Va. Boy Returns to School After Suspension for Pointing Pencil Like Gun

Wednesday, May 8, 2013  |  Updated 6:03 AM EDT
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Boy Back to School After 'Pencil Gun' Suspension

A 7-year-old boy was suspended for pointing his finger like a gun.

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A seven-year-old Virginia boy is back in school Wednesday after being suspended for pretending a pencil was a gun at his Suffolk school.

Christopher Marshal's suspension made national headlines -- and sparked a debate over whether the punishment was too severe. (You can comment on the case on our Facebook page.)

The boy apologized for the incident, but the school has a zero tolerance policy when it comes to weapons or threats of weapons.

"Enough is enough. I mean, where will we draw the line?" said his father, Paul Marshall. " I mean, a pencil. Was it sharpened? Was it not? Was it a No. 2? What's the big deal?"

The school said that they stand by their policy.

 "A pencil is a weapon when it is pointed at someone in a threatening way and gun noises are made," said Bethanne Bradshaw of Suffolk Public Schools.

The suspension follows others in the D.C. metro area that have been protested by parents. In March, a 7-year-old Maryland boy was suspended for nibbling a breakfast pastry into the shape of a gun.

In January, a Maryland boy was suspended for a day for pointing his fingers into the shape of a gun and saying "Pow!" while playing. That event was later taken off his school record.

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