School sent 1st grader home w/ realistic toy gun

Posted at 6:04 PM, Jan 05, 2016

It started with a wonderful and generous project. One school let a business adopt classes and bring children gifts. 

However the gift one 6-year-old got is causing controversy.

“This is not really a good gift to give a 6-year-old,” said Brieanna Johnson, as she held up the realistic looking gun her son brought home.

It even had a silencer.

Johnson is  proud of her son because knew he wasn’t supposed to have it. He handed it right over to his grandparents when he got home.

She has told her son he is never allowed to play with toy guns. 

It is a decision reinforced by the tragic death of Tamir Rice. Cleveland Police shot and killed the 12-year-old with little warning as he played with a pellet gun at a park in November 2014. 

Police thought his toy was real.

Johnson says she went to Herrington Elementary in Pontiac to complain, and the principal apologized.  The principal had no idea the toy gun had been sent home with a first grader.

Johnson contacted the media because she wants to make sure this doesn’t happen again.

7 Action News reached out to the Superintendent of Pontiac Schools Kelley Williams. 

She said a mistake was made. The district will implement policies to make sure this doesn’t happen again. 

It will work to improve communication with donors providing Christmas gifts about what is appropriate and will also require that gifts are packaged in a way that school workers can inspect them before they are given to children.

“It was a good generous thought, but it wasn't the right gift,” said Johnson.