US school boy suspended for making 'gun motions' with pencil

US school boy suspended for making 'gun motions' with pencil

A 13-year-old boy in the US has been suspended from school for allegedly making "gun motions" with a pencil.

Ethan Chaplin, a seventh-grader at Glen Meadow Middle School in Vernon, New Jersey, was sent home for two days after he allegedly pointed his pencil like a gun in a math class, News 12 reported.

Chaplin told the station that he was simply twisting around a pencil with a pen cap on it when a student behind him yelled out, "He's making gun motions, send him to juvie."

The boy said the other student had bullied him earlier that day. The school promptly suspended Chaplin, pending the outcome of a psychological evaluation, the report said.

His father, Michael Chaplin, was quoted as saying that he was "absolutely livid" and described the school's actions as "gross misconduct at its finest." "They took something so minimal and took it so far over the edge," he said.

Vernon Schools Superintendent Charles Maranzano, meanwhile, said school policy requires officials to investigate all situations in which a student feels threatened by another.

"We never know what's percolating in the minds of children," Maranzano said. "And when they demonstrate behaviours that raise red flags, we must do our duty."

The teen reportedly underwent a five-hour physical and psychological evaluation -- both of which were deemed normal.

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