A 6-year-old boy was expelled from an elementary school in Derby this week after officials said he brought an unloaded BB gun on the school playground.
A BB gun was located by students on the playground at Irving Elementary School on the morning of Oct. 11, Principal Jennifer M. Olson said in a letter to parents.
Elijah Gary, who was 5 years old when the incident occurred, isn't allowed to attend classes at Irving Elementary School where he is a first-grader.
After a 10-day suspension, he's expelled until October of next year and will be getting tutored daily instead.
However, Elijah's family is upset with the decision and said he did nothing wrong.
"I feel like they're making an example out of my grandson," said Elijah's mother Angela Baldino.
Baldino said that she got her son ready for school that morning and he did not have a BB gun in his possession.
"If he brought the gun to school, I wouldn't be standing here," Baldino said. "But he found it on the playground and they don't want to hear that."
Baldino said her son found the BB gun while sliding down a slide head-first and noticed it under the slide.
Elijah's family told Eyewitness News those same two male classmates held on to it until they reported it to their teachers at recess a few minutes later.
"I don't have one teacher saying he had a gun," Baldino said.
Baldino admitted to Eyewitness News her son can be a handful and at times; he has a hard time keeping his hands to himself.
But Baldino said Elijah didn't do this.
"He has behavioral issues in school - that may be the reason," Baldino said.
In a letter to parents, Olson said the BB gun was found on the playground.
"Students did the right thing and at no time were they in danger," Olson said in the letter.
However, police were contacted about the incident.
In a letter from the superintendent, Dr. Matthew Conway, he stated "Elijah posed a serious disruption of the education process, endangered students and staff and was in possession of a firearm or facsimile on school property."
The school day was not disrupted, Olson said in the initial letter, but recess was held inside for the remainder of the day on Oct. 11.
"I can't comment," Conway said. "It's a confidential matter between parents and the school."
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