A 13-year-old boy in North Carolina was reportedly suspended after he drew a picture of stick figures holding guns and knives.
Roseboro Salemburg Middle School in Sampson County suspended the unidentified seventh-grader for two days over the doodle, which portrayed one stick figure holding what appeared to be a rifle and another carrying two large knives.
James Herring, the boy’s father, was surprised his son was suspended for “just expressing himself.”
“I see a guy in a race car souped-up. I see a tower that he built. I see him holding his gun; he’s a deer hunter. I see him with a magician and I see him as a Ninja Turtle … nothing violent,” Herring told WRAL.
Herring also told the news station that their family does hunt, but any guns used for the sport are locked up.
Dr. Eric Bracy, superintendent of Sampson County Schools, said in a statement to Fox News that “schools are on heightened alert after the tragedy in Florida and safety is our highest priority,” adding that he isn’t allowed to discuss individual students.
Roseboro Salemburg Middle School declined to comment when contacted by Fox News.
Herring told WRAL that his son drew the picture before the deadly mass shooting at a high school in Parkland, Florida, which killed 17 people.
Bracy also told WRAL that the school’s student handbook outlines a variety of reasons for suspension, explaining that “there are some things that list possible threats or things like that.” The punishments are divided into different categories depending on the seriousness of the offense, he explained.
While the boy is back in school, according to WRAL, Herring still thinks the punishment his son received for the drawing was unfair.
“When I see that, I see a normal 13-year-old boy. I drew pictures like this, any other person of his age drew drawings like this. It’s nothing to get expelled from school for,” he said.