A 13-year-old student’s school project earned him a grade of 82 percent — and a three-day suspension.
Tyler Carlin of Celina, Ohio, knew right away that he wanted to honor fallen soldiers when he was assigned a project at school, and he quickly set out to build a battle cross. A fallen soldier battle cross is made of a service member’s rifle, their boots, and typically their helmet and dog tags, and has been practiced since before the Civil War.
“I got the idea from my dad’s friend, [who] is like a grandpa to me,” Tyler told WLFI.com. “He always tells me about his war stories and what that means to him.”
While Tyler was not allowed to use an Airsoft gun as a stand-in, he did get permission to use a Nerf gun. He completed his battle cross with a plastic helmet and his sister’s old boots. However, it wasn’t long after he entered the school that he was sent to the administrator’s office. Before he returned to class, he was informed he could be facing suspension.
After the incident, the Carlins decided to hire an attorney.
“Initially, they said it was because he brought a look-alike weapon to school and caused a disturbance,” Travis Faber, the family’s attorney, told the news outlet. “After his parents took issue with the suspension, they’re now saying he was suspended for insubordination.”
Carl Huber, Celina city schools’ board of education president, said in a statement: “The Celina City School Board has requested a ‘FERPA Release Form’ be signed through the family’s attorney to allow us to make a truthful and accurate statement about the situation. Until the school has received that release, the Board and its agents will not be making any statement that violates the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act or a student’s general right to privacy.”