The school initially expelled the 11-year-old, a special needs student in Atlantic City, New Jersey, but relented and gave him a 5-day suspension instead after he brought a foam Nerf bullet to school with a toothpick added to the tip. By his account, the toothpick made it so that when he shot it at the ground at home, it would stick in the dirt. He had it in his pocket one day at school, because he had forgotten about it.
School officials thought that it resembled a shank too much and assumed that the student brought it to school in order to do harm to someone else. CBS reported:
“From their lookings that the quote unquote weapon looked like it was an imitation of a shank,” said mother Michelle Moody.
“It’s a toy with a toothpick on it,” she said.
Aarin Moody’s mom says she got the call Friday after the Nerf bullet fell out of the fifth grader’s pocket and it nearly got the 11-year-old special education student kicked out of the Uptown Complex School.
“I pulled out my late slip and that’s when the item fell out of my pocket and a teacher had seen it,” said student Aarin Moody.
Aarin was immediately escorted to the office by a security guard. His mom says the vice principal told her Aarin would be expelled, a punishment that later turned to suspension shown here in Aarin’s disciplinary records which indicate he was in possession of a self constructed weapon.
According to the school’s policy a weapon is “anything readily capable of lethal use or inflicting serious bodily injury.”
“It sound completely ludicrous to me that my son would be expelled for a Nerf bullet,” said Michelle Moody.
Aarin plays with Nerf guns at home and says he put a toothpick in the end of the Styrofoam so it sticks in the dirt when he shoots it. That day he says he forgot it was in his pocket.
“They want me to like say that I did it on purpose I put it in my pocket to hurt someone,” the student said.
Aarin is now serving his five-day suspension in school but his mom says he’s missing out on valuable time in the classroom.
“It’s mind baffling to me that someone would even take something as small as this to the highest extreme,” said the student’s mother.
CBS 3 Eyewitness News has reached out to the Atlantic City Board of Education several times for comment but so far those calls and an email have all gone unanswered.
So, according to their policy, a weapon is “anything readily capable of lethal use or inflicting serious bodily injury.” If a piece of soft foam with a toothpick stuck in it is classified as a weapon, then anything can be considered a weapon. Why stop at a toy projectile? How about staplers, pencils, pens, fists, feet, shoes, shoestrings, anything in the janitor’s closet, etc. I think everyone in that school should be expelled immediately. Surely everyone, including the teachers, have something on them or in their lockers that could possibly be used to hurt or kill someone.