EAST BATON – An 11-year-old student in East Baton Rouge, Louisiana, will not face charges after a BB gun was seen in his room while he was participating in online classes.
On Sept. 18, Rondell Coleman was reported to the sheriff’s department by officials with the East Baton Rouge Parish School System, accused of “brandishing a gun on camera,” WDSU reported
A deputy went to Rondell’s home and read the boy’s mother her Miranda rights. She was questioned along with Rondell. Law enforcement confiscated the BB gun and charged the child.
Evette Coleman said her grandson was traumatized during the incident.
He was also recommended for expulsion and moved into an alternative school program.
An attorney reached out to State Attorney General Jeff Landry to have Rondell’s permanent record, along with that of another elementary school child, wiped clean of weapons charges. Landry’s office handed the case to Solicitor General Liz Murrill, who called the incident “significant government overreach,” WDSU reported.
Murrill reached out to the school board, which agreed to reverse the violation. She said the criminal charges were also dropped. Rondell was in the alternative school for more than two weeks after the decisions were made to clear his record.
He has since returned to his school, but his grandmother still doesn’t understand what he did wrong.
Rondell’s situation was similar to that of Ka’Mauri Harrison, who was threatened with expulsion after school officials saw him move a BB gun in his room while taking a virtual test, The New Orleans Advocate reported.
The newspaper said Ka’Mauri was moving it out of the reach of his younger brother.
The gun was visible to the teacher and was against school rules, according to the Advocate.
A ninth grader at Thomas Jefferson High School for Advanced Studies in Gretna, Louisiana, was in a virtual class when he was seen playing with two knives.
A seventh grader at Patrick F. Taylor Science & Technology Academy in Westwego, Louisiana, drew a picture of his katana sword, showing it to classmates.
Neither threatened anyone, but both were recommended for expulsion. Eventually, they were given suspensions, The New Orleans Advocate reported.
The state legislature passed The Ka’Mauri Harrison Act that protects students in a virtual setting by forcing schools to set policies regarding virtual learning by Dec. 31.
The Jefferson Parish School System, where Ka’Mauri attended, defended what it did, saying a person’s home is part of a school campus when students are learning online, WDSU reported. Officials said the bill doesn’t allow them to ensure a safe learning environment for students.
The bill allows families to appeal when expulsion is suggested, the Advocate reported.
Ka’Mauri’s family is suing the district, WDSU reported.