SUFFOLK, Va. (WAVY) - The chairman of the Suffolk school board supports revisiting the weapons policy, after two second graders were suspended for pretending pencils were guns last week.
Christopher Marshall, 7, of Suffolk was suspended Friday for violating the school weapons policy. The student he was playing with, also a 7-year-old boy, was also suspended for two days.
"I was happy to be back," said Wendy Marshall, as he arrived home Wednesday, his first day back to school.
And, while he seemed to be in good spirits, Christopher's mother, Wendy Marshall, says the night before he was worried sick.
"He said he was a little nervous," said Wendy Marshall. "His stomach was hurting and my husband and I reassured him, 'You have nothing to worry about. You did nothing wrong. You're not in trouble.'"
The discipline referral states he and another student pointed their pencils at each other and made gun noises. When he was home Monday, Christopher showed WAVY.com cameras exactly what he did, saying he was pretending to be a Marine, like his father.
"A pencil is a weapon when it is pointed at someone in a threatening way and gun noises are made," said Bethanne Bradshaw, a spokesperson for Suffolk Public Schools.
School officials are standing their ground, despite hundreds of emails and calls to their offices.
Bradshaw says the phone rang 75 times every hour on Tuesday, the day after WAVY.com first aired Christopher's story. Almost every caller was critical of Christopher's suspension.
"The community support has been marvelous," said Wendy Marshall. "I want to thank everyone."
While the suspension has changed how Christopher will act at school, Wendy Marshall says, at home, he can still be a kid.
"We're still going to play guns and hang out in the backyard," she said. "We're still going to have our Nerf wars and do everything we did before."
The weapons "look alike" policy will be on the school board agenda Thursday. At least two school board members - the chairman and vice chairman - want to revisit it the policy. It only takes four votes to make that happen.
A man is facing attempted abduction charges after police said he tried to grab two juvenile girls and exposed himself.
A lawsuit has been filed on behalf of more than 2,000 EMTs and paramedics who were abruptly laid off over the weekend.
The Portsmouth City Council has set a public hearing for Tuesday, Dec. 17, to talk about a plan to bring a casino to the city.