New Jersey school suspends boy for allegedly making ‘gun motions’ with pencil

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A New Jersey boy was suspended from school after twirling a pencil in a manner another student claimed was a "gun motion."

Ethan Chaplin, a seventh-grader at Glen Meadow Middle School in Vernon, was sent home for two days after he allegedly pointed his pencil like a gun in math class, according to News 12 New Jersey.

Chaplin told the station that he was simply twisting around a pencil with a pen cap on it when a student behind him yelled out, "He's making gun motions, send him to juvie."


The boy told News 12 that the other student had bullied him earlier that day.

The school promptly suspended Chaplin, pending the outcome of a psychological evaluation, the station reported.

His father, Michael Chaplin, told the station he was "absolutely livid," and described the school's actions as "gross misconduct at its finest."

"They took something so minimal and took it so far over the edge," he told the station.

Vernon Schools Superintendent Charles Maranzano, meanwhile, said school policy requires officials to investigate all situations in which a student feels threatened by another.

"We never know what's percolating in the minds of children," Maranzano told the station. "And when they demonstrate behaviors that raise red flags, we must do our duty."

The teen reportedly underwent a five-hour physical and psychological evaluation -- both of which were deemed normal.

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