Charges Dropped Against 10-Year-Old Boy Who Brought Toy Gun to School

Boy's mother: "They did the right thing; it needed to be thrown out of court"

An Alexandria prosecutor dropped charges Tuesday against a 10-year-old boy who brought a toy gun to school.

The attorney for the fifth grader also asked that his record be expunged of the brandishing charge, to which the prosecution agreed.

"It was correct," the boy's mother said of the decision. NBC4 is not using her name to protect her son's identity.

"They should have did this a long time ago," she said. "I shouldn't have had to show up to court. What could they do? They did the right thing; it needed to be thrown out of court."

The boy was taken into custody Feb. 4 by Alexandria police after he arrived for school at Douglas MacArthur Elementary. The prior day while on the school bus, another student had seen what looked like a gun in the boy's backpack. She told her mother, who then called the principal.

When the boy came to school the next day, the orange-tipped gun -- a toy from a dollar store -- was still in his backpack.

Alexandria police took him to juvenile detention where he was fingerprinted and charged with brandishing a weapon. He was released to his mother after an afternoon court appearance.

"The safety of our students is always our first concern,” said Superintendent Morton Sherman the following day.

But the boy's mother told News4 she is angry about how he son was treated. He was taken away by police before she could make it to the school. She says she will continue to press the Alexandria Public School district to reconsider it's policies.

"I don't want no child, no parent to go through what I went through," she told News4.

The school district says it is reviewing the way the case was handled.

The boy has since transferred to a different school. His mother is glad the criminal case has been erased, but says the incident will be hard to forget.

"It's a sense of relief but it's still hard to put it behind us, because every time they say my son's name it's always going to be linked with the toy gun," she said.


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