12-year-old Isaiah Elliott who attends Ground Mountain, a K-8 school near Colorado Springs, was suspended from and visited by police after the school recorded Elliott playing with a toy “Zombie Hunter” Nerf gun on camera while attending his virtual school.
According to Fox 31, the student was attending a virtual art class when the teacher noticed Elliott playing with the toy gun. The toy, which is neon green, has an orange tip, and is emblazoned with “Zombie Hunter” briefly flashed across the computer screen.
The class was recorded without the family’s knowledge. Video was sent to the principal, who suspended Elliott for five days, and called the police to perform a welfare check on the student and his family.
“It was really frightening and upsetting for me as a parent, especially as the parent of an African-American young man, especially given what’s going on in our country right now,” Elliott’s father, Curtis Elliott, told local news.
Buzzfeed noted that Elliott suffers from ADHD, and often suffers problems concentrating in class as a result. The parents say their son was fidgeting with toys from his room, and showed a photo of Elliott standing next to an impressive case featuring at least 8 toy Nerf guns.
Elliott said that Isaiah often has trouble concentrating during classes because he has attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). She said that the school “had been made well aware” of her son’s ADHD diagnosis and that Isaiah has an IEP (Individualized Education Program) plan on file.
After the class concluded, Elliott said that she received an email from her son’s art teacher in which the teacher said that Isaiah had been “extremely distracted,” during the lesson.
The teacher wrote that there had been “a very serious issue with waving around a toy gun,” which she had reported to the school’s vice principal, according to Elliott.
Public schools have been a source of continuing controversy as much of the country still insists on forcing students to wear masks, social distance, or resort to online learning due to COVID-19.
In Florida, one student has been arrested after allegedly launching several DDoS cyber attacks on his school district, rendering its virtual learning capabilities useless. The district believes more students may be involved, and the attacks required help from a number of federal law enforcement agencies.