NewsCovering Louisiana


Family of Jefferson Parish student suspended for BB gun in bedroom sues school system

Posted at 7:32 PM, Oct 03, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-03 20:32:34-04

The family of a Jefferson Parish fourth grader who was suspended after he was seen moving a BB gun in his bedroom during a virtual school lesson has sued the school system.

The New Orleans Advocate reports that Attorney Chelsea Cusimano filed the suit Friday on behalf of the family of Ka'Mauri Harrison, seeking damages and an order that the system conduct a hearing about the decision to suspend the boy. They also want the system to let him make up work he may have missed during his six-day suspension.

In September, 9-year-old Ka'Mauri was in his bedroom taking a test when his younger brother entered the room and tripped over a BB gun next to the desk, according to The Advocate. Ka'Mauri moved the gun from one side of his chair to the other and leaned it up against his table, leaving the barrel of the gun within range of his computer's camera. His teacher saw the gun and tried to get his attention, but he'd muted his computer. He was disconnected from the lesson, and when his mother called the school she was told the gun had been reported to the principal.

He was suspended and recommended for expulsion; the school system said it was a violation of its policy forbidding weapons at school or school functions, The Advocate reports.

He wasn't expelled, but was suspended for six days, a punishment which the parents say is overly tough and ignores their right to privacy and due process.

The lawsuit says the case "arises from egregious government overreach, complete lack of common sense to prevail and correct the glaring failures of local government officials to comply with the law. The result is a terrible intrusion into a family's home and a bureaucratic nightmare that unites the Attorney General, ACLU, and the NRA in agreement that the parents and child's statutory and constitutional rights have been violated."

The case caught the attention of Attorney General Jeff Landry, who has met with the family and opened an investigation into the incident in late September.

Read more from The Advocate here.

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