Kristy Jackson is the mother of a 4-year-old boy in Collinsville, Illinois, who is expressing outrage after her son was suspended from a preschool for bringing a spent shell casing. A teacher at  A Place 2 Grow preschool notified her that he had brought a "shotgun bullet" to school and thus merited the suspension 
 
The mother said that it was, in reality, a spent .22 caliber bullet casing that  her son, Hunter, found while his grandfather was shooting targets. Hunter’s grand-dad is a policeman. Hunter put it in his school bag to show his friends. His father and mother were unaware of it.
 
On Facebook, Jackson explained: 
 
I was handed a piece of paper. No words, just eyebrows raised in disgust at my son, explaining that his behavior warranted a 7 school day suspension. Which I still was expected to pay tuition for, of course. And a threat that if his enthusiasm for guns continued, he'd be permanently expelled. See, here's the thing. This was a teaching moment. He never hurt anyone, or threatened anyone. This could literally happen to ANY CHILD who happened to find one on the ground and thought it was cool. He does not have access to ANY weapon in our home. This could have been handled by explaining appropriate behavior at school.
 
He's 4. This doesn't hurt him, or teach him, or help him. Just his parents, who do not condone bringing these kinds of things to school. Ever. Had we known, we of course would have stopped it. But every time he or another child mentions a gun (like every boy I grew up with did) they punish him.
 
The school has reportedly informed the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services about little Hunter’s suspension. The school also apparently warned Hunter’s parents that he had engaged in pretend gun-play. 

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Martin Barillas is a former US diplomat and the editor of Spero News.

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