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4th grader's suspension for BB gun seen on Zoom call reduced in hearing after namesake legislation

The Harrisons have argued their home is not an extension of Ka’Mauri’s classroom. The school system has stood its ground and refused to change his record.

HARVEY, La. — An angry Nyron Harrion marched himself and his son, Ka’Mauri Harrison, out of the Jefferson Parish Public School System boardroom nearly six hours after they arrived Friday.

The appeal hearing -- which at times was heated -- was to determine if Ka’Mauri’s six-day suspension for having a BB gun in view of his virtual class back in September while in his bedroom should be overturned.

The board ultimately voted to change his record to a three-day suspension with three days of unexcused absences.

The Woodmere Elementary fourth-grader said he was moving the BB gun so his brother didn’t trip on it when his teacher saw in during a virtual classroom session.

The Harrisons have argued their home is not an extension of Ka’Mauri’s classroom. The school system has stood its ground and refused to change his record.

That happened even after a new law was passed -- and named in Ka’Mauri’s honor -- to deal with similar situations.

“Are you aware you were suspended because you brought a BB gun to school?” Chelsea Cusimano, the Harrison family attorney, asked Ka’Mauri as he testified during the hearing.

“I didn’t bring my BB gun to school,” he answered.

School Board member Simeon Dickerson, a former teacher, asked Nyron Harrison, Ku’Mauri’s father, to think of how his teacher felt seeing a gun on her computer screen.

“I know what a BB gun looks like. And you know what it resembles? A real gun. OK? It resembles a real gun,” Dickersaon said.

“We hope it is clear that we have and will continue to follow state law in regards to disciplinary matters. We are committed to making and standing by decisions that are in the best interests of our students and schools,” the Jefferson Parish Public Schools System said in a statement after the board voted on the change to Ka’Mauri’s record.

That modification happened only after an excoriation from the board as all sides sparred with each other.

“The only thing that hasn’t happened before is no one’s made this a media sensation,” said Board member Mark Morgan, who said the board regularly hears appeals, but not in the manner it did Friday with media present. “And the only reason that that happened is because of COVID because we’re in a virtual world.”

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