A longtime Osceola County teacher has been reassigned after taking a fake rifle to Neptune Middle School in Kissimmee.
Local 6 has learned the toy musket was used during the history teacher’s lesson on the American Revolutionary War. The eighth-grade teacher, identified as Gema Evans, used the prop last week. But this week, students came forward with concerns. The Osceola County School District said several complained that they were frightened by the replica.
“If it was one of those, like a squirt gun looking thing, then by all means, that’s fine,” said one parent, Lauren Beck.
Another parent, Donna Smith, told Local 6, ” I think she took it too far in today’s times. Any other time, I would say ‘no.'”
A woman who knows the teacher, and wanted to remain anonymous, told Local 6 the teacher shouldn’t lose her job.
“She was doing her job. She was teaching a lesson and no way was she out of context, or going across the line. Maybe some parents might think that, but in reality, she was doing her job and she would never mean to scare kids on purpose,” said the woman.
It was a lesson that the teacher taught regularly, but we’re told it was the first time she used the replica.
“Personally, whenever I was a kid, that would’ve been acceptable. Why is it that nowadays that everything is just so taboo?” said Beck.
The student handbook prohibits students from bringing “look-a-like” weapons to school. An investigation is underway to see if the teacher’s lesson plan is exempt.
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