After Black Child Was Suspended for Having BB Gun at Home, Louisiana Lawmakers Move to Help Him Appeal
Louisiana lawmakers moved to make it easier for students to appeal expulsions after a black child was suspended last month for a BB gun in his room.
According to the WAFB, a State House committee has tabled a bill to make it easier for fourth grader Ka’Mauri Harrison to appeal his suspension. Although Harrison was not on campus at the time of the incident, the Jefferson Parish school district initially relocated to lock him out.
Harrison was attending class when his younger brother tripped over a BB gun in his room and caused Harrison to pick up the gun and place it on his desk in view of the class.
"This is certainly something I don't think the school board expected that the school board should expect," said Rep. Ray Garofalo (R), chairman of home education, during a hearing. "All statements supported what Ka'Mauri said. If that is the case, it is an injustice."
The school board decided to reduce the punishment from expulsion to six-day suspension because that makes sense.
The suspension will remain on Harrison's record unless he successfully wins an expulsion complaint. The district declined to appeal Harrison because, although they officially threatened to expel him, they did not.
"Some students have been expelled or suspended for doing what is considered normal at home," said Rep. Troy Romero (R) during an in-house hearing.
Black fourth grader hung over BB gun in virtual classroom, Louisiana Attorney General will investigate
Romero put forward a proposal that would allow students officially threatened with expulsion to appeal, even if their sentence is ultimately reduced. In addition, schools would need to clarify which campus rules still apply during virtual learning and create a code of conduct for students during virtual lessons.
Given that we don't know how much longer students have to study virtually, I am surprised that other states have not taken similar steps.
Harrison's father Nyron filed a lawsuit against the school board shortly after the incident. "We trust these people in our children every day to make informed decisions on their behalf," Nyron told WAFB. "Ka'Mauri is only the first. He still has his children and generations behind him. Children all over the world suffer from the same injustices in the school system and so on."
The bill, named after Ka'Mauri, went through the State House without objection.
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