Local News

5-year-old Hoke County student suspended for using stick as gun during recess

Posted March 29, 2017 4:58 p.m. EDT
Updated March 30, 2017 11:09 a.m. EDT

— A Hoke County mother said that her 5-year-old daughter was suspended from school after pretending to use a stick as a gun during a game at recess Friday.

Brandy Miller said her daughter, Catlin, a student at J.W. McLaughlin Elementary School, was playing a game where two girls pretended to be a princess and queen and she was their security guard. A boy on the playground approached the girls and Catlin pointed the stick at him, Miller said.

The boy told a teacher, who sent Catlin to the principal’s office.

In a letter sent to Miller, Assistant Principal Brooke Griffie stated that Catlin was suspended for one day for “turning a stick into a gun and threatening to shoot and kill other students.”

In a statement, Hoke County school officials said that the district does not tolerate assaults, threats or harassment from any student.

“It is our duty to ensure the safety of our students and staff. Therefore, we respond to all threats in a serious manner and take appropriate action,” the statement said.

Catlin returned to school on Tuesday.

The Hoke County Board of Education scheduled an emergency meeting for 4 p.m. Thursday to address the incident, which they said has led to "extensive harassment and threats directed at Hoke County Schools personnel.'