The mother of a Hutto ISD elementary student says her son was given in school suspension for "playing guns" during recess. Playing guns with their fingers. The school district says what happened is more serious than just inappropriate behavior.
"I went like this to a girl and she did it back," said Tristen Sone, a third grade student at Cottonwood Creek Elementary School in Hutto. "We were playing a game...An army game pretty much."
I asked, "Did you make any noises with your mouth?"
"No," he replied.
It happened during recess.
Tristen's mom was called immediately.
She said, "I asked them if they were serious and then I laughed."
They were serious. Tristen and the other student were given in school suspension for a day and a half.
"Something that was completely innocent was taken out of context," she countered.
According to school officials, they investigated the incident and believe it was more serious than horseplay. Even more serious than what their code of conduct classifies as "inappropriate behavior."
Tristen's mom said, "They are just kids being kids."
Still, Hutto school reps stand by the decision to place the third graders in ISS for a day and a half.
"He was upset at first and he cried about it because he just felt like he was being punished for no reason," said his mom.
"People in the back were like, oh, you got ISS, you're a bad kid," Tristen said.
I asked, "Do you feel like a bad kid?"
"No," he answered. "In my old school, I used to play it all the time with my friends."
Tristen's a transfer student at Hutto.
He used to go to school near Burnet.
His mom added, "He plays with his brother that way at the house. They throw T-shirts on the ground and say they're landmines or they throw their shoes and say they're grenades. That's what they do. They play war."
Federal law requires imitation guns to have orange tips. You might have noticed, Tristen painted his fingertips orange for our interview.
"It's because I wanted it to look fake," he explained.
Tristen's mom told him he can play any game he wants...as long as it's at home.