A 4-year-old boy in Illinois has been suspended after taking a fired .22 shell casing to pre-school.
In the aftermath of the incident, mother and Collinsville resident Kristy Jackson said that her son -Hunter Jackson- reportedly found the expended casing and took it to his Troy, Illinois, pre-school on Tuesday to show his friends. Neither Kristy nor her husband knew about the casing.
The .22 caliber casing in question was not a live round, but merely an expanded hunk of brass once belonging to a complete cartridge, which is commonly used for small game hunting, beginner’s gun safety training and recreational shooting. It is not a suitable round for self-defense.
Unfortunately for Hunter, the faculty at the preschool discovered the piece of brass and called his mother in, claiming he had a “shotgun bullet.”
“I was met with a stone-faced teacher who said that my son had a shotgun bullet. I was horrified thinking, ‘where could he have gotten this?’”
The school’s director issued Hunter a one-week suspension, repeatedly reminding the Jackson family that their son had used other toys as pretend firearms, a violation of school policy in a notoriously gun-unfriendly state.
While the school’s vice principal said that the suspension was an accumulation of firearms-related discipline infractions in-line with their policies, no details were given under grounds of confidentiality.
As it turns out, Hunter got the shell casing from his grandfather, who is a Caseyville police officer who was teaching the boy about hunting and gun safety the weekend prior. The two had gone shooting and the boy kept a .22 shell casing.
“He’s cried about it and he doesn’t understand why his school hates him,” Jackson said of her son, who has been trained in firearms safety since a young age.
“[Hunter] just was wandering around in a field and picked up and put it in his pocket and didn’t tell his parents…it’s paranoia. It’s something that’s become quite an epidemic where guns are automatically assumed that they’re bad…and I’m not sure how a 7-day suspension teaches my son anything about tolerance or anything about why he was wrong. It just means his school doesn’t want him there because of things he enjoys,” Jackson said.
To make matters worse, the school vice principal notified the Jackson family that the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services -which issued the school their license- was contacted in the aftermath of the incident, claiming it was a mandatory procedure.
According to FOX59, the Jackson family is unsure if they will be sending Hunter will be returning to the pre-school after his suspension is up.