School suspends child for using finger as pretend gun while playing with friends

OSCEOLA COUNTY, Fla. — An Osceola County mother is outraged after she said her 8-year-old son was kicked out of class for playing cops with his friends at Harmony Community School and using his finger to simulate a handgun.

Jordan Bennett was suspended from school for the day, but his mother, Bonnie, said she's now worried her son be labeled as violent with a suspension on his record.

"He had nothing in his hand. It was a finger gun, a pretend gun," Bennett said.

But as it turns out, the school considered the gesture to be an act of violence.

"He didn't threaten violence. He didn't utter words that were inappropriate. He made a sound and used his fingers and that was it," said Bennett.

Bennett told Channel 9 she believes there are more effective ways the district could have disciplined her son than having him miss school for the day.

"A written apology," she said. "If he would have written an essay about why it was inappropriate, what he did, that would have made more of an impact."

Instead, Bennett said her son was forced to miss an entire day of instruction.

"I absolutely think he should be in school," she said.

Bennett said her son has never been in detention or suspended before. She hopes by speaking out that administrators will start distinguishing between an actual threat and a pretend game.

The school district told Channel 9 due to student confidentiality, they cannot comment on individual cases.  They did say their code of conduct prohibits students from playing with invisible guns.