Expulsion Reversed for Girl Who Brought Plastic Gun to School

8:21 PM, Jan 31, 2013   |    comments
Naomi McKinney
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Sumter, SC (WLTX) - A six-year-old girl expelled for bringing a clear plastic gun to class will be allowed to return to school.

Sumter County Schools Superintendent Dr. Randolph Bynum said Thursday afternoon that he would vacate a decision to remove Naomi McKinney from school. Original Story: 6-Year-old girl expelled

McKinney had brought plastic gun to Alice Drive Elementary school earlier this month for show and tell. An Sumter Police Department incident report states the item is an Airsoft gun that shoots plastic pellets, but that the gun was not operational. In the report, it states there were visible BBs inside.

When she arrived at school, McKinney told the teacher what she had. The teacher then notified administrators, who then sent the child home.

She was expelled, and the decision was upheld by the superintendent and the school board.

District officials say they have strict rules about look-alike weapons being brought on to campus. Sumter Police told News19 the gun did not meet qualifications under state law for what is considered a weapon in school. 

Since then, the story's received statewide and even national attention. According to the district, school administrators and teacher had received threats over the decision.

Here is Bynam's full statement:

"As superintendent, I will do everything in my power to protect the safety of our students and staff. School level administrators and teachers have received threats as a result of the decision that was made to expel a six year old child for violating district policy.  Threats made to staff members are not tolerated, and we intend to involve law enforcement.

"After careful thought and consideration for the safety of the school community, I have decided to vacate the ruling of the hearing panel.   The student will be allowed to return to school. The suspension time has been served.

"Sumter School District has zero tolerance for weapons on our school campuses. Our current policy states that the board will expel any student who brings a weapon to school, and in the case of firearms, that includes look alikes. We plan to collectively revisit all board polices that affect student discipline."

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