The Washington Post

Record cleared for Prince William boy who pointed finger like a gun

Disciplinary records have been wiped clean for an 8-year-old boy in Prince William County who pointed his finger like a gun after another child pretended to shoot him with a bow and arrow, according to the family and a lawyer.

They said the principal of Minnieville Elementary School in Woodbridge wrote a letter citing assurances that the boy’s parents would remind him about “appropriate play and actions in school” in agreeing that the disciplinary referral would be removed from the child’s school records.

The word “removed” was underlined, the family and lawyer said. The family declined to provide a copy of the letter because they said its tone was critical and it brought in issues outside of the incident.

The second-grader was suspended Feb. 8 for “threatening to harm self or others,” a severe behavior in the same category as bringing a real weapon to school. He served an in-school suspension Feb. 13.

About the same time, the family’s attorney filed an appeal that asked that the offense be stripped from the child’s record. The Washington Post made inquiries about the case to Prince William officials Feb. 12.

The lawyer and the family expressed disappointment in the outcome.

“I had hoped that the resolution of this would have involved a more open-minded approach from the school officials,” said the boy’s father, who did not want to be named to protect his son’s privacy.

The letter was dated Feb. 14, given to the mother Feb. 15 and discussed with the lawyer Monday. “It just seems when you’re moving forward instead of backward you should be conciliatory,” lawyer Robin Ficker said. “I did not feel a whisper of conciliation in the letter.”

Donna St. George writes about education, with an emphasis on Montgomery County schools.



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