Dad concerned after boy draws picture of gun in Metro classroom

Photo: WKRN
Photo: WKRN

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — A father is concerned for his daughter’s safety after another third grader allegedly drew a disturbing picture involving a gun.

A Metro Nashville Public Schools spokesperson Ameerah Palacios told News 2 the district is aware of the alleged incident and is responding accordingly.

Danny Dean told Reporter Andy Cordan that he is concerned for the safety of his daughter who attends Gower Elementary in Bellevue.

Photo: WKRN
Photo: WKRN

He said his daughter came home very upset last week, afraid after seeing her 3rd grade teacher allegedly cry in class.

According to Dean, his daughter said a child drew a picture that depicted a boy with a gun firing bullets at another person. He has not seen the picture but he believes the teacher was the target of the boy’s drawing.

“She is sitting in class right now and she’s scared,” he told News 2. “One of the other children told the little boy he may need to apologize to the teacher, and he said he would apologize to her in 100 years when she was dead.”

A spokesperson for the school system said the district is aware of the alleged incident. They told News 2 the third grade boy is new to school and has had some problems adjusting.

They confirmed that there was a picture drawn and it does depict a gun being fired at someone.

When it comes to discipline, the school district uses a restorative discipline practice that emphasizes social and emotional learning to see what is really bothering the child.

School personnel met with the child, the child’s parents, and children involved. The principal can’t discuss the full aspects of what was going on because of student privacy. The child didn’t express himself in an appropriate way, but in Metro Schools, we don’t demonize children, we use restorative and social – emotional learning to see what is really bothering that child and that is the approach that Gower is taking and it comes down to a child that is new to the school, trying to figure out where they fit in, and maybe he has trouble making friends. So we support that child, we don’t demonize them, we don’t suspend them to make them feel unsafe,” said Palacios of Metro Nashville Public Schools.

Dean said he is not comfortable with the boy still being in his daughter’s class.

“It is not ok with me. We understand the child was removed from the class for 1 hour. We feel it is not enough of a punishment for something of this magnitude. This was not a hunting picture, or a boy drawing a picture of himself, a hunting scene, this is a picture of a little boy shooting another human being. And if it wasn’t a teacher, then it had to be a student, but it was another human being.

The family has told their daughter if she sees anything unusual, to get up and go to the restroom.

“If he reaches for his backpack, get up and ask to be excused and go to the bathroom,” Dean said.

Metro Nashville Public Schools officials said the school has spoken to the boy, his parents, and those affected in the class.

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