4-Year-Old Preschool Boy Suspended for Bringing Shell Casing to School

A Collinsville, IL family is learning just how harsh zero tolerance is in today’s schools.

Kristy Jackson says her 4-year-old preschool son Hunter is growing up around guns, and sadly, that’s having a detrimental impact on his education. Jackson said when she went to pick the boy up at his school, Tuesday, she learned he’d been given a seven-day suspension.


“I was met with a stone-faced teacher who said that my son had a shotgun bullet and I was horrified, thinking ‘where could he have got this?'” Jackson said.

Turns out it wasn’t a shotgun bullet, it was a .22 casing the boy acquired on an outing with his grandfather, a Caseyville police officer, who is teaching the young boy about hunting and responsible gun use. Jackson said her son didn’t tell anyone that he had innocently picked up the casing and put it in his pocket that day.

“He’s cried about it and he doesn’t understand why his school hates him,” said Jackson, whose Facebook post on the incident has gone viral.


According to a letter Jackson received from Mallory Lengermann, Director of A Place to Grow in Troy, IL, if Hunter continues to be a typical 4-year-old boy, the next step the school will take is expulsion.

Hunter Crowe has continually chosen actions and behaviors that require a suspension from A Place 2 Grow Child Care and Learning Center.

On Tuesday, March 21, 2017, Hunter was seen showing his fellow classmates a bullet casing that he brought to school from home. He had the casing in his pocket. The casing was removed from the classroom by his teachers and taken to the office. Hunter has been told that guns, hunting, etc. are not subjects that are to be discussed at school. He has been redirected to other activities when he has chosen to make guns out of other toys. Hunter’s teachers have made multiple attempts to redirect these behaviors, however we believe that other actions need to be taken to correct these behaviors.

If after returning to school, these issues continue to be present or new issues arise, Hunter will be expelled from A Place to Grow Child Care and Learning Center effective immediately.

I hope that Hunter can take the next seven days as a learning experience and return to school with a new outlook and understanding about these issues and the safety of his fellow classmates.


A Place to Grow’s vice-president also informed Jackson that he was notifying the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) of the incident.

How toys being fashioned into guns or a spent bullet casing taken from an outing with a child’s grandfather is detrimental to the safety of preschool students, I’m not quite sure. Nor do I know what keeping a 4-year-old child out of preschool for seven days is supposed to teach him.

Hunter’s mom agrees.

“It’s paranoia,” Jackson said. “It’s something that’s become quite an epidemic where guns are automatically assumed that they’re bad…and I’m not sure how a 7-day suspension teaches my son anything about tolerance or anything about why he was wrong.  It just means his school doesn’t want him there because of things he enjoys.”


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