Parents hope to clear son’s record
Published 10:34 pm Friday, May 10, 2013
The father of a boy suspended from Driver Elementary School for pretending a pencil was a gun says he will seek to have the punishment expunged.
“I’m going to find out what the procedures are to have his record cleaned,” said Paul Marshall, whose son Christopher was one of two 7-year-olds suspended for “shooting” each other with pencils while pretending to be Marines.
“I don’t think it’s going to affect him in the future from an academic standpoint, however it’s the principle of the thing.”
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On Thursday, School Board members approved a review of the discipline policy that led to the suspension. A committee will report its findings in June.
But the zero-tolerance stance is “something that should have been corrected a long time ago,” Marshall said.
“I’m going to make sure it’s corrected, for all the children in that school … and in the nation.”
He pointed to the national attention the case has garnered, saying, “For myself and thousands of others, this is obviously the School Board going too far.”
“Him and another child were pretending to be good-cop bad-cop, only as Marines. They were pointing at each other (with pencils) going, ‘Bang, bang, bang.’ When the teacher told him to stop, he did. Christopher has never been in trouble before; he’s never had bad grades.”
Paul Marshall spent eight years in the U.S. Marine Corps and is 90-percent disabled from non-combat injuries, he said.
He’s surprised his son’s case went viral on the Internet, making national headlines, after he contacted a local television station. “I didn’t expect it was going to get this much attention,” he said. “I was very pleased with the outcome.”
Marshall said his son, who was suspended Monday and Tuesday before returning to class Wednesday, is “taking it well from the standpoint of a lot of attention – he’s young and he doesn’t realize how much attention it’s really getting.
“(However) his nerves have been shot. He’s been shaking (and) he’s been upset. You can kind of tell he still can’t understand why he’s gotten into trouble for just pretending to be like his dad.
“Educators could have made a good lesson out of it, saying this is not something we do in class. It’s kind of sad they lost out on it.”