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WAVY reports on another instance of a “zero tolerance policy” in schools going way too far:
VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) – A suspended seventh grade Virginia Beach student will find out soon if he is expelled for the rest of the year for shooting an airsoft gun.
Like thousands of others in Hampton Roads, Khalid Caraballo plays with airsoft guns. Caraballo and his friend Aidan were suspended because they shot two other friends who were with them while playing with the guns as they waited for the school bus.
The two seventh graders say they never went to the bus stop; they fired the airsoft guns while on Caraballo’s private property.
Aidan’s father, Tim Clark, told WAVY.com what happened next lacks commons sense. The children were suspended for possession, handling and use of a firearm.
Khalid’s mother, Solangel Caraballo, thinks it is ridiculous the Virginia Beach City Public School System suspended her 13-year-old son and Aidan because they were firing a spring-driven airsoft gun on the Caraballo’s posted private property. “My son is my private property. He does not become the school’s property until he goes to the bus stop, gets on the bus, and goes to school.”
The bus stop in question is 70 yards from the Caraballo’s front yard.
Solangel Caraballo was not at home when this incident occurred. She was taking her young son to a Head Start class. She left her 16-year -old daughter in charge.
Khalid and Aiden aren’t only suspended, they were recommended to be expelled for a year for “possession, handling and use of a firearm.”
This story that addresses Zero Tolerance extending to private property began on September 9 with a 911 call from a concerned citizen.
Make sure to read the rest of it. WAVY spoke to the “concerned citizen” who made the 911 call, who in her call confirmed she knew real guns were not being used but that, “it makes people uncomfortable. I know that it makes me (uncomfortable), as a mom, to see a boy pointing a gun …”
I have a hunch this is more what the call was about:
Ironically, that 911 caller’s son was playing with Khalid and Aidan in the Caraballo front yard on September 12. There were six children playing in an airsoft gun war. “We see the bus come. We put the gun down. We did not take the airsoft gun to the bus stop. We did not take the gun to school,” Khalid explained.
Aidan admits shooting the caller’s son in the arm, and Khalid admits shooting another friend in the back.
Petty parent using law enforcement to solve a harmless “problem” between her child and one of his friends? Sure sounds like it.
Phineas Butts In: Bryan Preston updates with the “You’ve got to be kidding me” news. Unanimous?
The boys have been expelled from school by a unanimous vote. Unbelievable.
VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) – A seventh grade Virginia Beach student previously suspended for shooting an airsoft gun has been expelled, WAVY.com has learned.
During a hearing Tuesday morning, Aidan Clark and Khalid Caraballo were expelled in a unanimous vote. Clark was offered the option of attending an alternative school, but his father, Tim, told WAVY News’ Andy Fox he will be homeschooled.
Caraballo will attend an alternative school.
UPDATE 2 (Phineas): WAVY has corrected the story. The boys have received “long-term suspensions,” not expulsions:
During a hearing with a disciplinary committee Tuesday morning, Aidan Clark, Khalid Caraballo and a third friend were given long-term suspensions in a unanimous vote. The suspensions will last until June, but a hearing will be held January 27 to determine if they will be allowed back in school sooner.
I’m with the parents: this is a distinction without a meaningful difference. And the school administrators still need to be demoted to janitor.