Modesto school suspends 5-year-old boy for 'terroristic threats'

The parents of a 5-year-old boy in California are speaking out after their son was suspended from school for allegedly making a “terroristic” threat when he told his teacher there was a bomb in his backpack.

Jackson Riley, who attends the Great Valley Academy charter school in Modesto, was suspended last month for “making terroristic threats against school officials,” Sacramento television station KTLX reported.

Michelle Riley, Jackson's mother, said her son refused to remove his backpack, telling a teacher there was a bomb in it that would explode if he took it off. The backpack was actually empty.


“It's all in the world of pretend play and we're talking about an imaginary bomb but, where was the threat?” Michelle Riley asked. “We still haven't received a clear answer.”

The boy’s dad, Ian Riley, said his son was playing around and is being accused of something he is too young to even understand.

The Rileys want the disciplinary action removed from their child’s record.

The school said in a statement to KTLX it couldn't discuss the specifics of the case and emphasized it “takes student safety and discipline very seriously.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.