A 5-year-old kindergartner, Jackson Riley was suspended at the Great Valley Academy, a California elementary school after he joked that he had a bomb in his backpack. The little boy was in his third week of school when he made threats.
Great Valley Academy officials said that the ordeal unfolded when little Jackson Riley was asked to take off his backpack, but the 5-year-old boy refused. The child then told his teacher that a bomb inside would explode if he had to remove the book bag, news station KTXL reported.
In response to the incident, which occurred on the 31st of August, the school suspended him for one day and called his parents to come pick him up from school.
Unpleased by the decision, little Jackson’s parents have slammed the California school for the extreme action which will be on his permanent record.
In a letter sent to the family, the school claims that the child “intentionally engaged in harassment, threats or intimidation”, while another letter stated that the boy had “made terroristic threats towards school officials.”
Speaking to KTXL, the boy’s mother Michelle Riley said they attributed their son’s comments to his “imagination.”
“He said he couldn’t take his backpack off because it would explode, meaning he doesn’t want anybody to get hurt. So I mean, granted, it’s all in the world of pretend-play, and we’re talking about an imaginary bomb.”
His father Ian Riley also added that “He’s 5. He has an imagination. We just want what’s right is right, and what’s right in this instance is for our child to not have a permanent mark on his record because of this,”
While the family is calling for the incident to be removed from the child’s record, the Great Valley Academy officials released a statement saying they take “student safety and discipline very seriously.”