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Gun-Toting Kindergartner to Return to School

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The kindergartener was suspended temporarily from Club Boulevard Magnet School.
DURHAM — The 5-year-old Durham boy whobrought a loaded gun to school, could be back in class as soon as Fridaymorning. The schools pledge zero tolerance to weapons, but say this casedeserved special consideration.

School board chairman Kathyrn Meyerssays Superintendent Ann Delinger recommended to the board in closedsession that the student be reinstated immediately.

Administratorshad to weigh the life of one child against the responsibility for 29,000other students. The kindergartner who brought a loaded gun to ClubBoulevard Magnet School, will return to class.

Dr. Delinger says thedecision was the most difficult thing she's ever done in her entirecareer, not just in Durham.

The schools pledge zero tolerance toweapons. But, leaders say the 5 year old probably didn't understand theconsequences. One board member voted against allowing him back in school.

"To keep a kindergartner out of school for a year would not be goodfor that person," says board member Phyllis Scott, "but in the long run,it might make a statement to our 29,000 other kids that we mean businessabout this."

Donna Couch has a seven year old at Club BoulevardMagnet School. She says she's very pleased with the decision. Couchbelieves it could just as easily have been her in the place of the child'smother.

Administrators hope students in the entire school system learn from thedecision, and because of it, a five year old won't have to sit out of ayear of learning at Club Boulevard..

The child told authorities he got the gun from his mother's boyfriend. Aspart of his reinstatement, the boy must have no contact with theboyfriend, and he must move in with his father.

Kerrie Hudzinski

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