By Anna Giles


NATOMAS (CBS13) — Parents in Natomas want answers about an email from district leaders that notified them a student will be back at school after that student faced expulsion for having an airsoft gun on campus.

Natomas Unified School District is pointing the finger at the Sacramento County Office of Education, which overturned the district’s decision to expel this student. According to the school district, the student brought an airsoft gun on campus back in March and pretended like it was a real gun.

“They let him back in? That’s ridiculous,” said parent Scott Papapietro.

Parents are worked up and taking their frustration straight to district and county leaders.

“I think we really have to question when one student’s needs put others at risk,” said parent Theresa Gallagher.

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After the airsoft gun incident back in March, the Natomas Unified School District expelled the student, saying his actions caused fear and panic among students, staff and parents at Heron School.

“We need to do what we need to do to make sure our community is safe,” said Deidra Powell, director of communications for the Natomas Unified School District.

The Sacramento County Office of Education disagreed, overturning the student’s expulsion and allowing him to return to school next week.

So, Natomas district leaders decided to send an email to parents, urging them to take action.

“The Natomas community letter is misleading and does not contain all the proper information associated with this matter,” said Tim Herrera, spokesperson for the Sacramento County Office of Education

Herrera said Natomas district leaders made serious mistakes in the process of expelling this student. He said they left out facts and also violated the student’s privacy.

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“How would you feel about your student being outed to the community as being involved in some kind of an investigation?” Herrera said.

Natomas district leaders call the Office of Education’s decision “astounding” and said it comprises the feeling of safety and security students should have at school.

“Sometimes students make dangerous poor decisions, but they have to learn from the consequences,” Powell said.

Parents worry about the safety of their kids, and some are second-guessing sending them to school next week.

“What are they telling us about the safety of our kids? What do they care, they obviously don’t?” Pappeitro said.

Others think the student should have a second chance.

“Sometimes the kids, they are not aware of the dangers sometimes,” said Leah Quidt.

Natomas district leaders are suing the Office of Education in superior court, hoping to get their decision shot down.

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