A 12-year-old boy with learning disabilities has everyone fired up in Colorado after a teacher spied a toy gun while holding a virtual art class. The weapon, neon green with an orange tip sporting in big block letters “Zombie Hunter,” apparently freaked the teacher out enough to have police roll to the child’s house for a welfare check – without notifying his parents.
Law enforcement found a child with a toy. And the school promptly suspended Isaiah Elliott, the seventh-grade zombie hunter in question. As you may suspect, the incident did not sit well with his parents Curtis and Dani Elliott.
You Don’t Get to Just Do Stuff Like This
The police appeared without warning and scared Isaiah to the point of tears, bringing a stinging rebuke from the boy’s father: “It was really frightening and upsetting for me as a parent, especially as the parent of an African-American young man, especially given what’s going on in our country right now.”
Dani suggested maybe next time a toy becomes an international incident to make a quick call to a parent, which “could easily have alleviated this whole situation to where I told them it was fake.”
Well, where is the fun in that? Grand Mountain School issued both a suspension and a statement on why it is necessary to curtail what goes on in the privacy of a student’s home:
“We follow all school board policies whether we are in-person learning or distance learning. We take the safety of all our students and staff very seriously. Safety is always our number one priority.”
Can We See The Tape?
The Elliott family soon found that all virtual classes are recorded, and there was footage of the “brandishing” in question. Isaiah moved the plastic zombie-slaying sidearm from his right side, out of view, to his left side, also out of view. But the eagle-eyed art instructor caught the action and went a bit overboard. Curtis asked to see the recording, but the Widefield School District has denied the request – perhaps because it looks as if a giant neon gun with Zombie Hunter clearly in view would not warrant the trauma inflicted upon the child and his family. However, the police showed their body cam footage.
As Curtis told the local Fox News outlet: “He was in tears when the cops came. He was just in tears. He was scared. We all were scared. I literally was scared for his life.” They even threatened to press charges.
Americans are struggling to embrace distance learning, and, granted, educators may be under stress to mind-control their students through the internet. Liberty Nation’s Kelli Ballard has written recently on teachers’ fears that parents could listen in on lessons:
“Parents, you have no right to know what the teachers are teaching, and furthermore, you are not allowed even to observe. The reason given? Confidentiality. Yes, that’s the excuse they are using for objecting to parents witnessing any lessons.”
Heck, now, when the cops are called by a heavy-handed principal to issue arrest threats to a minor child, parents aren’t to be notified? The schools won’t release tapes, as they clearly seem to think a toy gun may be a gateway to a life of crime, and that they are better equipped than the rest of us mere mortals to make decisions.
Isaiah has been allowed back in the virtual classroom. But mom and dad are looking to enroll their kid in a different school – either private or charter – hoping this kind of ridiculousness won’t happen anytime in the future. But wherever this student goes, you won’t have to worry about any zombies hanging around the playground.
Read more from Sarah Cowgill.