Prosecutors dropped criminal charges against a 4th-grade student after he was seen with a BB gun during an online class in Louisiana.
Rondell Coleman, 11, was read his rights and interrogated following the Sept. 18 incident after a police report alleged the boy was “brandishing a gun on camera,” according to WDSU. Coleman’s school, East Baton Rouge Parish, recommended him for expulsion and the boy was forced to enroll in another district, the local outlet reported.
“This is a BB gun,” Coleman’s grandmother told WDSU. “You’re going to come and read a kid rights because he has a BB gun? I don’t know if they’re confused that we’re not on campus. We’re in our home. We are in our private home.”
Louisiana Solicitor General Liz Murrill contacted the 11-year-old’s original school and criminal charges were dropped, according to WDSU. Coleman has since returned to East Baton Rouge Parish, but family said the boy is more quiet and “doesn’t understand what he did wrong,” the local outlet reported.
EBR student’s record cleared after facing criminal charges for BB gun in bedroom https://t.co/c473zsixkd
— wdsu (@wdsu) October 25, 2020
Ka’Mauri Harrison, another Louisiana 4th grader, was threatened with expulsion after he too was seen with a BB gun during an online learning session months prior to Coleman’s case, according to WDSU.
Murrill said both incidents exemplified government overreach. (RELATED: Family Sues After Child Suspended For Visible BB Gun In Online Class)
“We just saw this to be very significant government overreach, and I think everyone in the country is sympathetic to that and that first story really triggered that firestorm,” she told the local outlet.
The incidents have prompted state legislators to create the Ka’Mauri Harrison Act, which affords legal protections to online students and mandates schools to create disciplinary procedures by the end of the year, according to WDSU.
The bill is awaiting Democratic Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards‘ signature, the local outlet reported.
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