A Southern California school district knew a student might bring a gun to school but failed to notify the boy's parents, possibly preventing the situation, NBC 7 San Diego has learned.
San Ysidro School District held its first expulsion hearing in years Thursday night regarding a March incident at San Ysidro Middle School. County education officials listened to arguments from the students father and the school district. They needed to decide whether to uphold the district's decision to expel the student.
The district argued it was doing what it thought was best to keep all the students at the school safe.
Officials also said legally and according to its policies, district administrators followed protocol.
However, the student's father said the district did not act when officials apparently knew his son was being bullied. He said administrators knew the student may bring something to school to defend himself and again did nothing.
Kevin Washington is a single father of the student involved in the incident. He said he is heartbroken.
"I'm afraid I could lose him where he is right now. He needs to be in school," Washington told NBC 7 in an exclusive interview.
He said his son was severely bullied at San Ysidro Middle School and brought an unloaded gun to campus in March. He did not dispute that was poor decision by his son.
Washington appealed his son's expulsion because, he said, the night before the incident, the school district had information his son might bring a gun, and did not call him or the boy's mother.
"If you were concerned about the safety of the children, what about the safety of my child when you knew something was going to happen," he asked the school district officials at the hearing.
At a meeting with County Office of Education, county board members had the same questions for the San Ysidro School District. An attorney for the district responded.
"In an ideal situation a call would have been placed," said attorney Michael Wolfsohn. "I don't know the exact reason why the call wasn't made."
"The initial action was to see if there was a firearm and then call the parent," he added.
Ultimately, board members upheld the district's decision to expel Washington's son in a 3-2 vote. Their main objective was to decide "did the district act within the scope of its authority."
However, they still had strong words and requests that the district review its policy and procedures.
"I only have 10 minutes to fight for my son's education life when these people had almost 24 hours to contact me. It's not fair," Washington said.