6-Year-Old Expelled for Bringing Plastic Gun to School

10:16 PM, Jan 30, 2013   |    comments
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Naomi McKinney

Sumter, SC (WLTX) - A kindergartner at Alice Drive Elementary in Sumter has been expelled from school for bringing a clear plastic gun to class.

Naomi McKinney, who's six-year-old, was expelled on January 7th. UPDATE: Girl Allowed Back in Class

The problem began when Naomi grabbed her brother's Airsoft gun to bring in for show and tell. 

"I chose to bring it to school because I thought I could show my friends it because they might like seeing it," Naomi explains.

Her dad, Hank, says he and her mother didn't see what she choose to bring until getting a call from the school.

"The school needed me down there that my daughter was fixing to be expelled," he says. "I got in the car and rushed down there and when I got in there the principal told me that she had a gun at school and she pulls it out and it is a little clear plastic gun."

News19 asked the Sumter County School District for a picture or description of the gun but said they would not release that information because it is part of the child's discipline record, which they do not disclose.

"You have to show some kind of judgment," Hank McKinney says. "I know there is a lot going on with guns and schools and that is tragic but a six year old bringing a toy to school doesn't know better."

Instead of being in school, Naomi now is spending her time at her dad's furniture store.

The Sumter County School District weapon policy says the presence of weapons or look-a-likes is not allowed, stating the board will expel any student who brings a weapon to school.

"I'm sorry anything can be a weapon," Hank says. "A pencil is more of a weapon than the toy gun she brought to school."

The Mckinneys tried to appeal to the discipline hearing panel, but received a letter stating Naomi is not allowed on school property or at any school sponsored event on or off campus. She is subject to criminal charges if she's caught trespassing.

Naomi is not allowed to be on school property, even when her parents are picking up her siblings, so they have to park off school property.

"She's not interacting with her friends at school, she isn't going on field trips or anything she thought was exciting," Hank says. "It is all gone."

And understanding why that is suddenly all gone has been tough for the 6 year old. 

"I felt bad because i didn't want to miss all my friends," Naomi says.

She will be assigned a home-based instructor from the school district. The Sumter School District says they take any potential threat very seriously and will remain vigilant in creating a safe and secure environment.

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