New Jersey fifth-grader Aarin Moody got a lesson in his school's zero tolerance policy after being suspended all of last week for bringing a foam Nerf gun bullet to school, according to his mom.
The Atlantic City boy was reaching for a note from his mom when the spongy projectile fell out of his pocket, alarming a faculty member at the Uptown Complex School on May 8, said his mother, Michelle Moody.
“I pulled out my late slip and that’s when the item fell out of my pocket and a teacher had seen it,” the boy said.
Officials at Uptown Complex categorized that foam dart as a “self-constructed weapon” because it had a toothpick stuck in it, the distraught mother said..
“It’s completely ludicrous,” she told FoxNews.com. “I could understand if he had the [toy] gun in class and tried to shoot someone, but he didn’t. All he had was the dart with a broken toothpick in it.
Aarin said that he places the toothpick in the foam bullets so they would stick to the ground when he fired them from his Nerf gun and that he accidentally brought it to school.
“They want me to like say that I did it on purpose, I put it in my pocket to hurt someone,” he told one local paper.
According to the school’s weapons policy, “Anything readily capable of lethal use or inflicting serious bodily injury” is prohibited on campus.
Michelle Moody maintains that the school’s classification of the toy bullet as a weapon is absurd and should not fall under that category.
Officials at the Atlantic City School District, who did not return requests for comment, originally told Moody that her son would be expelled, but eventually agreed to a five-day, in-school suspension and a notation on his permanent record stating that he brought a makeshift weapon to school.
Moody said her son suffers from attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, and has suffered in the past from anger management issues, but she believes he was singled out after she filed a complaint against the board claiming harassment issues from a supervisor during her time as a substitute custodian in the district.
Aarin returned to classes on Monday but was placed on a probationary period.
The incident is one of the latest in a long list of students in school districts across the country being penalized for seemingly minor offenses.
In June 2013, a group of students was suspended from a Washington state elementary school for using Nerf dart guns as part of a math lesson, despite having permission from their teacher.
In March that same year, second-grader Josh Welch was suspended from a Maryland elementary school after unknowingly biting a Pop-Tart into the shape of a gun.
"I just kept on biting it and biting it and tore off the top of it, and it kind of looked like a gun," Welch told a local Fox affiliate at the time.
FoxNews.com's Perry Chiaramonte contributed to this story.