Police Called On Seventh Grader By His Own School

By Brisa Ramirez

Grand Mountain School, in Colorado Springs, called the police on seventh-grader, Isaiah Elliott after he was seen playing with his toy gun during a virtual class. He was suspended from school for five days. The experience has left 12-year-old Isaiah traumatized, but the school is yet to take responsibility for their actions, The Washington Post reports.

On August 27, only the third day of school, Isaiah was attending his art class. The toy Nerf gun he was playing with during class time was painted black and green with the words “Zombie Hunter” printed on the side. The situation first came to light after the class ended. His mother, Dani Elliott, received an email from her son’s art teacher mentioning that her son had been “extremely distracted” during class-time. Elliott replied by saying Isaiah has trouble concentrating during classes because Isaiah has attention-deficit / hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Shortly after, she received a call from the school vice-principal notifying her that the police are on their way to their home. 

Isaiah’s mother took the incident up with the school and told them how injudicious it was to call the police on a Black 12-year-old. Elliott said she feared law enforcement officials arriving at their house for her son because Isaiah was the same age as Tamir Rice, who was shot dead by police, while playing with a toy gun in a park across from his home. Elliott affirmed, “With the cultural events going on right now, especially for young African Americans, you calling the police and telling them that he could have a gun, you put his life in jeopardy.” 

When El Paso County Sheriff’s officers arrived at the family home, they showed Elliott’s husband footage from the incident that they had seen in the vice principal’s office and that was recorded on their body cameras. Despite the school having alleged that the student pointed the toy gun at the screen, when Isaiah’s father reviewed the footage of the tape from his son’s class, it only featured Isaiah sitting on the couch and moving the toy gun from one side to another. 

In spite of diverse conversations with the school’s principal, the vice-principal, and a district superintendent, they would not remove the incident from Isaiah’s record. The young boy had been pulled out of his previous middle school and is now on a waitlist for a charter school, where his parents hope he will be positively acknowledged.

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