A South Florida family says an innocent mistake made by their 7-year-old son is costing him his education.
Broward County School Board members aren't playing around.
Bring an air gun, water gun or any toy gun to school and the student will be kicked out of school for an entire year, members confirmed Tuesday with a unanimous vote to uphold the expulsion of two kids who forgot toys in their backpacks.
Dane Logvin, 12, has been out of school since February and 8-year-old Samuel Burgos was given the boot in November after each showed a classmate toy guns while in school.
"We're not arguing he broke policy. These are good kids. He's a straight 'A' student," said Kristine Logvin, Dane's mom. "There are kids who have broke laws, not rules, and not been expelled. You can't just rubber stamp a child. What's disheartening is they don't look at the child individually."
While the expulsions are for a calender year or 180 school days, they stretch across two school years, which sets both students back, a punishment too steep for bringing a toy to school, their parents contend.
"What point are they trying to prove?" said Kristine Logvin, who has been a teacher's aide for eight years. "They've learned their lesson. My son did not commit a crime."
But the School Board didn't back down from the strict definition of what constitutes a weapon. Basically, anything that has the capability of shooting something - even water - is a weapon.
"We specifically said, toy or not, it’s a Class A weapon," said School Board member Stephanie Kraft before the vote.
Burgos' suspension garnered nationwide attention because of his age. The second grader has missed 10 months of school, but was told he would be able to register this year for classes, only to find out his suspension will last into late this year and possibly longer.
School board officials said Tuesday they would continue to review Burgos' case and another hearing has been set for Oct. 18.
"He made a mistake, but why the severe punishment? I don't understand that," said Magdiel Burgos, Sam's dad. "You have to be compassionate and understanding, and work with us, you just can't look at it black and white."
School Board officials warn parents to learn the Code and Conduct book given to every student, which also requires a parent's signature.
For Broward's code of conduct go to www.browardschools.com/schools/code.htm. Miami-Dade county school's code of conduct can be found at http://ehandbooks.dadeschools.net/policies/90/index.htm.