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‘I’m going to shoot your eye out,’ woman says student threatens son at Claxton Elementary

By Hannah Mackenzie

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    ASHEVILLE, North Carolina (WLOS) — A 6-year-old was held at gunpoint by one of his classmates in the halls of Claxton Elementary, the child’s mother said.

Karina Holloway said the first-grader pointed the gun at her son in November, threatening him.

“I’m going to shoot your eye out; my finger is on the trigger,” Holloway recalled what her son told her. “How would you process that?” Holloway asked.

The gun was later found to be a BB gun, but Holloway’s son didn’t know that at the time.

“He said, ‘No, please, put the gun down. My family will miss me,” she said.

According to Ashley-Michelle Thublin, executive director of communications with Asheville City Schools, the BB gun was unloaded and broken and “confiscated by school administrators”.

Holloway said she has reached out to the principal, superintendent, and the school board, but her concerns have gone unanswered.

“I feel like I’m being told to hush,” Holloway said. “I’m being told to be quiet, put it under the rug.”

News 13 asked Thublin what punishment, if any, the student received. Her response:

“That’s part of the student’s discipline file and information I’m unable to share, as all students are entitled to confidentiality per federal law.”

According to Holloway, the student was suspended for a few days but is now back in the same classroom as her son.

Holloway’s request to transfer the student to another class was denied. Instead, she said school officials offered to move her son.

“What are you teaching the kids, then? If you are a good student, you get punished for the actions of someone else? No,” she said. “What that comes off to me as, they don’t see this threat as an overall school threat.”

According to Holloway, she’s now focused on getting the school’s policy changed.

“I’ve read it back and forth,” she said. “There is nowhere in there that protects the victim when an assault happens.”

She is also hopeful the Asheville City Schools Board of Education will reconsider her request and remove the student from her son’s class.

“As a mother, all we want to do is protect our children,” she said. “I can only pray that this will not affect him going forward.”

Asheville City Schools denied News 13’s requests for an interview. The district did issue this statement:

“On November 12, 2021, a broken BB gun was brought to the campus of Claxton Elementary by a student. The broken BB gun was confiscated by school administrators at 7:55 am; families were supported and appropriate measures were immediately taken. At this time, the investigation has concluded, and applicable actions have been carried out. We cannot go into more details, as it is a student matter. And, all students are entitled to confidentiality per federal law.

However, please know that if there was ever a situation and school administrators believed students were in danger or there was a threat made to one of our schools, it would be promptly communicated to families. Student safety is our top priority, and all allegations are taken seriously. When a threat or other serious misconduct is proven that impacts overall school safety, Asheville City Schools will remove students from school and/or take other appropriate measures and precautions consistent with state and federal laws.

We appreciate our partnership with families and value the trust they place in us to keep our students and school communities safe. At this time, I have no additional information to share.”

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