On September 11th, nine schools in Marion County received bomb threats; but of more than a dozen bomb threats since the beginning of the school year, none have been by a student this young.
"Had a middle or high school student made this kind of a threat, most likely, they would have been expelled and recommended for some type of alternative placement at another school," Kevin Christian explained.
Wednesday however, school officials had to ask the question: "what should they do about a kindergartner at East Marion Elementary, who told another student he would put a bomb in his backpack?"
"The fact that he made this statement at school in the presence of other students and other adults that forces us to take action on it," Christian said.
The boy made the statement Tuesday during the extended day child care program, and the next morning faculty were not the only ones alerted to what he said.
"Our DARE officer was there. It was brought to her attention and when we're made aware of those accusations or those types of statements, we've got to follow up on them," Marion County Sheriff's Sgt. C.T. Welch said.
Deputies investigated the incident and classified it as a "suspicious incident" because of the boy's age.
"In this case, when it comes from a six year old, he doesn't have the mentality or the mental capacity to make a criminal decision," Welch said.
School officials however were not so easy on him. Administrators said he is suspended for two days and must go through a risk assessment.
"It's not something we like to do, but we have to set the example," Christian said.
That has the child's mother concerned, she said she understand the seriousness of her son's statement, but she thinks the punishment is excessive for someone his age.
By Ted Latiak, WCJB TV20 News.
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