Rutherford School Board Discusses Toy Gun Issue - NewsChannel5.com | Nashville News, Weather & Sports

Rutherford School Board Discusses Toy Gun Issue

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by Emily Luxen

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. - The Rutherford County Board of Education moved one step closer to amending its policy on students bringing toy guns to schools.

The school district's current policy does not specifically address toy weapons, but the proposed change would give principal's more power to suspend students who bring one to school or a school sponsored or approved function.

In late October, a fourth grader at Barfield Elementary School brought gift bags to school for classmates in celebration of a Muslim holiday. 

Some of the goodie bags included plastic toy guns. The student was not punished, and several concerned parents reached out to the school and central office to voice their concerns the child received preferential treatment.

Parents expressed those same concerns at the Rutherford County Board of Education meeting Thursday evening.

"I'm here because I'm concerned about safety of our children," said one parent.   

"I would really like for there to be a fair and consistent treatment for students who have violated this policy," said another parent.   

Board members thanked parents for their involvement, and voted to add toy weapons to the district's zero-tolerance policy.

"As a school board, we are sensitive to the safety of our students we are going to be as proactive as we can in addressing these issues," said Director of Schools Don Odom.

Odom said officials at Barfield spoke with the student's mother about the inappropriate gifts, and she apologized. 

The board will discuss and vote on the policy change again at its November 29 meeting. If approved again, the changes would go into effect immediately.

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