Samuel Burgos Goes National: An 8-year-old's Expulsion Becomes Tea Party Rallying Cry
|Screenshots from NBC6|
|Samuel Burgos has been held out of school for nearly a year for bringing a toy gun to school.|
The story first made the press September 17 on NBC6, which did this report on 8-year-old Samuel Burgos. Samuel was expelled from Pembroke Pines Charter School in November 2009 for bringing to school a clear plastic replica of a 45.-caliber handgun. School district officials credited the fact that the toy gun fired plastic bee bees as a reason to classify it as a weapon and expel Samuel under its
"zero tolerance" policy.
Samuel's father, Magdiel Burgos, had spent nearly a year fighting the suspension before finally going public. NBC6's story soon got picked up by conservative bloggers nationwide, who declared it the new battleground for gun rights. Others argued that it was an example of "leftist" school administrators who go too far with suspensions and arrests of students.
Burgos tells me he was surprised at all the attention his story has gotten in recent days. "I got a lot of phone calls, one from Armed for America, or something, and then the rifle group, NRA," he said. "I don't want to get caught up in the gun issue. I just want my son back to school."
|There's no mistaking the gun Samuel brought to school for the real thing.|
Burgos appealed the decision, and a hearing is scheduled for 9:30 a.m. tomorrow. "There has to be an alternative for good kids who make a mistake," Burgos said. "Sending him to a school for criminals will not help the situation."
Meanwhile, conservative bloggers and websites have taken up the cause. On the chat room conservababes.com, one author writes:
The lefty pacification of our children has been a paramount issue, and to mentally hammer into those young minds that weapons, images of weapons and toys that look like weapons are Evil MUST be hammered into them while young so they can grow a crop of ready-made govt slaves that will never even think of revolting violently or know their rights when the govt tramples over them.Burgos says he's glad that news of his fight is spreading. "It's blowing up. It's all over right now," he said. But he's hoping the attention means school administrators will reconsider.
"We just want our child back in school," he said. "That's all we're hoping for with all this."