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Michigan first grader given realistic toy gun

Posted: 6:04 PM, Jan 05, 2016
Updated: 2016-01-06 18:51:13Z

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

The gift one 6-year-old received, however, 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 she 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. 

The decision is 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 said she went to Herrington Elementary in Pontiac, Mich., 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 Pontiac Schools Superintendent 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,” Johnson said.