A 13-year-old boy was suspended from Roseboro Salemburg Middle School in North Carolina for two days for drawing a stick figure holding a gun and knives back in March.
The boy’s dad, James Herring, told WRAL that his son was drawing a Teenage Mutant Turtle:
I see a guy in a race car souped-up. I see a tower that he build. I see him holding his gun, he’s a deer hunter. I see him with a magician and I see him as a Ninja Turtle. [He’s] just expressing himself, nothing violent.
Herring said his personal weapons for hunting are kept under lock and key.
Herring insisted that his son is not violent and does not have emotional issues:
When I see that, I see a normal 13-year-old boy. I drew pictures like this, any other person of his age drew drawings like this. It’s nothing to get expelled from school for.
Sampson County Schools’ Superintendent Eric Bracy defended the boy’s school suspension based on the drawings:
Due to everything happening in the nation, we’re just being extra vigilant about all issues of safety. There are some things that list possible threats or things like that [in the student handbook]. We’ve got category one, two, three and four, which sort of grades potential incidents and the level or seriousness.
The boy’s suspension on his school record could adversely affect him when he applies for college.