UPDATE: Rutherford Elementary student disciplined for bringing toy gun to school
A Rutherford Elementary student has been suspended after bringing a toy gun to school on Wednesday.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- A Rutherford Elementary student has been disciplined after bringing a toy gun to school on Wednesday.
According to a letter sent home to parents, Principal Kenya Natsis says the school learned a student had brought a toy gun to school and that the item was "located and immediately confiscated."
Natsis says the student has been disciplined in accordance with the code of conduct, which states that if a student brings a weapon, dangerous instrument or lookalike weapon to school, they will receive a minimum of a 6-10 day suspension.
However, after several Rutherford Elementary staff members called WDRB to say that the student involved was at school Thursday and not serving a suspension, a spokeswoman for Jefferson County Public Schools clarified the incident.
"A toy or other object can be treated as a weapon if it looks enough like an authentic weapon to be reasonably mistaken for one, or if the student presents the look-alike weapon to a staff member or another student as a real weapon and/or … uses it to intimidate, threaten, or harass," said Bonnie Hackbarth, the district's spokeswoman. "If the item does not fit the definition above, the student still may be disciplined for other behavior prohibited by the code of conduct.”
Further, Hackbarth says it is "the principal's discretion to determine whether or not the item looks like a weapon."
It is not clear why Natsis' letter said the student was disciplined for having a toy gun if she had determined it not to look like a weapon. It also isn't clear what sort of discipline the student is facing or for what offense.
"There was never an active threat to our students or staff in this situation, but we take very seriously the district’s zero-tolerance policy for weapons, look-alike weapons or other dangerous instruments," Natsis said in the letter.
The school is located at 301 Southland Blvd.
Reporter Antoinette Konz covers K-12 education for WDRB News. She can be reached at 502-585-0838 or @tkonz on Twitter.
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