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Boy, 7, who told teacher he had toy gun, allowed back in school

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Darin Simak, was suspended from Martin School in New Kensington, Pa. His parents say he did the right thing when he informed his teacher about the toy gun. (The Valley New Dispatch)

The Pennsylvania boy who told his teacher he mistakenly brought in a toy gun is allowed to return to school next week, the school board ruled on Friday.

Darin Simak, 7, was handed a two-day suspension, because it is against school policy to bring in any kind of gun replica, The Valley New Dispatch reported.

Jennifer Mathabell, the boy’s mom, said  the boy left his regular book bag at a friend's house, so she packed him another one, not realizing the toy was in it. The boy's parents say Darin immediately gave it to a teacher because he knew it was against the rules.

"He found the toy gun on the outside pocket," Simak told The Valley New Dispatch. "He took it straight to the teacher and said that he wasn't allowed to have it."

New Kensington-Arnold superintendent John Pallone wouldn't comment. The district's policy calls for a one-year expulsion for "replicas of weapons" but also allows the superintendent to modify the punishment on a case-by-case basis.

According to the newspaper report, the school's policy states: "the board prohibits students from possessing and bringing weapons and replicas of weapons into any school district buildings, onto school property, to any school-sponsored activity, and onto any public vehicle providing transportation to school or a school-sponsored activity."

"My biggest issue with this is that I have worked so hard with him over the school year, aligning with his teachers and counselors, about making the right choice and making the right decision and ‘think before you act,'" Mathabell told the paper. 

“And this kid clearly (did the right thing by self-reporting), and this is the message that we're sending him now by being punished,” she said. 

Click for more from The Valley News Dispatch

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