La. attorney general says 4th grader with BB gun deserves appeal

4th grade virtual learner suspended for having a BB gun in his bedroom
4th grade virtual learner suspended for having a BB gun in his bedroom(Wvue)
Updated: Sep. 29, 2020 at 4:36 PM CDT
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JEFFERSON PARISH, La. (WVUE) - Attorney General Jeff Landry said fourth grader Ka Mauri Harrison deserves an appeal after Jefferson Parish Public Schools suspended him for handling a BB gun in his home during virtual learning.

The AG joins Dillard University President Walter Kimbrough, the NRA, and the ACLU demanding the school district rescind the nine-year old’s six-day suspension. Harrison was taking a virtual assessment when his younger brother tripped over a BB gun in his room.

That’s when he picked the gun up and placed it out of reach of his brother, but it was still visible in the frame of his virtual classroom. The school system suspended Harrison for six days, claiming the boy’s room was an extension of the classroom and that the nine-year-old child had violated weapons laws on campus.

However, the family’s attorney says the school could provide no written policy for virtual classrooms extending into the home, adding without an appeal the school system is violating his due process rights let alone his privacy rights at home.

“If you look at the paperwork issued by the school board, they have consistently stated that Ka Mauri has violated a federal weapons in a classroom law. But not only did they violate the children’s rights, they offered the parents in a public school system absolutely zero guidance as to what their classrooms should look like, there’s not one piece of paper that they can point me to that says please set up a neutral background, a green screen, a white screen, close off your home, so we don’t have a government intrusion issue, and now Ka Mauri is being made an example of what I believe and the attorney general believes, and the ACLU believes, and the NRA believes to be a government intrusion issue,” said attorney Chelsea Brener Cusimano.

Landry noted that Harrison handled the BB gun responsibly and safely, but was deprived of educational instruction and opportunity. He said he is committed to seeking justice for Harrison and his family no matter how long it takes.

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