Toy gun lands boy in hot water

February 3, 2010 3:48:27 PM PST
A mother is demanding answers after an elementary school principal threatened to suspend her son for bringing a two inch action figure with a toy gun to class.

"This isn't a safety issue. This isn't a zero tolerance policy on gun control. This is a judgment issue. I mean, what's the worst that could happen? It could poke you in the eye?" Laura Timoney said.

It's two inches long. So tiny, you can barely hold on to it with two fingers.

"The principal referred to it as an imitation weapon," Timoney said.

It belongs to 9 year old Patrick Timoney, a 4th grader at PS 52 in Staten Island.

"Me and my friends were at the lunch table, and we showed each other our Legos," he said.

He was playing with it during lunch Tuesday when his principal, Evelyn Matroianni, confiscated it and reported the toy gun violation to the Department of Education.

Patrick faced possible suspension.

"Was it going to be on his record somewhere that he brought a gun to school? Would they say it was this big?" Laura Timoney wondered aloud.

In written statement, the Department of Education said, "The principal reported that the student brought in a 2-inch toy gun, which is not permitted. She held a conference with the parent and the student. The issue has been resolved."

Resolved without suspension.

"The principal didn't have to turn it into a big case. A toy gun and four Legos," Patrick Timoney said.

Timoney's mom respects the zero tolerance toy gun policy, but says there's no way to confuse a toy, barely the size of two quarters, with a real gun.

"It's way over the top, and I don't know how you stop it," she said.

Patrick has learned a lesson. He will not bring the toy to school again.