4th grade virtual learner gets suspended for having a BB gun in his bedroom

Updated: Sep. 25, 2020 at 4:05 AM CDT
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NEW ORLEANS, La. (WVUE) - 9-year-old Ka Mauri Harrison is a 4th grader at Woodmere Elementary and this year he’s a virtual learner so his classroom is his bedroom.

The school suspended Ka Mauri for violating a federal weapons law.

“I feel like they were picking, and totally just invading privacy. We can’t have no privacy in the house,” Nyron Harrison said.

On Sept. 11th, Ka Mauri was taking a test on the computer when his dad says Ka Mauri’s brother walked into the room and tripped over Ka Mauri’s BB gun.

“Ka Mauri picked it up and moved it out of the way, out of the walking path. When he moved it, he picked it up briefly and set it on the other side of him,” Harrison said.

According to the paperwork from his expulsion hearing, the teacher’s account of what happened matches Ka Mauri’s.

She stated, ‘He placed it on the side of his chair so that we could only see the barrel.’

“You know, she had an obligation to report this to the principal, but her obligation ended there and from there is where everything went awry,” Harrison’s attorney, Chelsea Cusimano, said.

Cusimano attended Ka Mauri’s hearing.

“The policies in place are so robotic in nature to apply to guns on campus. They went into this school year without any policy or procedure on how to handle the privacy of someone’s own home,” Cusimano said.

The Jefferson Parish School system told us they don’t comment on individual student records, but pointed to its online policies.

The policy stated in part, “Illegal carrying, possession or use of a firearm or dangerous weapon within the boundaries of school property or on a school bus is a crime.”

“This is a privacy issue. Not only is this a due process issue and an intentional issue of emotional distress on a 9-year-old, it’s a second amendment ‘right to bear arms’ issue,” Cusimano said.

“I think all of this could have been thrown out the window when the teacher found out what the situation was,” Harrison said.

Nyron Harrison doesn’t believe his home should be considered an extension of school property and says his son became humiliated when the school asked his classmates to write letters about the incident.

“Embarrassed and he felt like he did something wrong,” Harrison said.

School officials suspended Ka Mauri for six days.

“He’s now been submitted for a social worker assessment. This is not a child that needs a social worker’s assessment,” Cusimano said.

The weapons violation is now a part of Ka Mauri’s permanent public school record.

“It’s going to follow him going to college, picking colleges and whatnot,” Harrison said.

“This is a pre-judgment of a 9-year old that will impact his educational career for the rest of his life,” Cusimano said.

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