Great Valley Academy officials said that the ordeal unfolded when little Jackson Riley was asked to take off his backpack, but the 5-year-old boy refused. The child then told his teacher that a bomb inside would explode if he had to remove the book bag, news station KTXL reported.
In response to the Aug. 31 incident, the school asked the parents to pick the boy up from school and suspended him for one day.
His parents have slammed the school’s decision as “extreme” and said the incident will be on his permanent record, according to KTXL.
The school sent the family a letter claiming that the child “intentionally engaged in harassment, threats or intimidation.”
Another letter claimed the boy had “made terroristic threats towards school officials.”
The parents said they attribute their son’s comments to his “imagination.”
“He said he couldn’t take his backpack off because it would explode, meaning he doesn’t want anybody to get hurt,” his mother Michelle Riley told KTXL. “So I mean, granted, it’s all in the world of pretend-play, and we’re talking about an imaginary bomb.”
The family has called for the incident to be removed from the child’s record.
“He’s 5. He has an imagination. We just want what’s right is right, and what’s right in this instance is for our child to not have a permanent mark on his record because of this,” father Ian Riley said.
Great Valley Academy officials didn’t comment on Riley’s case, but released a statement saying they take “student safety and discipline very seriously.”