“Lego My Gun” Charges Dropped
The 5-year-old boy who faced suspension after building a gun out of Legos has had all charges dropped.
Jose Barbosa was a part of the after school program at the Kennedy Elementary School on New Cape Cod. His parents received a letter a few days ago that said Jose, who cannot read, write, or speak English, had received his first written warning for “using toys inappropriately,” and that upon a second warning, he will be punished.
Jose’s parents, Emir and Oman Barbosa, say the school took things too far.
“Because we’re a same-sex couple and are here illegally,” said Mr. Barbosa through an interpreter, “we decided that our rights, through Jose, were being violated.”
“The whole issue is tragic,” said the other Mr. Barbosa, also through an interpreter. “It isn’t like Jose’s giving guns to drug lords or sending F-16s to jihadists.”
The threat of legal action was enough for the Kennedy school to drop its warning. Instead, in a settlement, the school moved Jose into its Accelerated Preferential Program (APP), which is designed to get the children of same-sex, illegal couples into top-tier colleges nationwide at no cost to themselves.
“APP is a nearly new presidential initiative to help underrepresented student groups eventually gain acceptance into Ivy-type schools through the use of federally mandated quotas,” said Kennedy principal Lester Funk. “As it is, we’re pleased to accept Jose into the APP program and the threat from the federal government to pull all our funding unless we caved had nothing to do with our decision.”
Mr. Funk added, “Although we don’t condone the use of Legos, paperclips, rubber bands, sticks, or the likes to build pretend and potentially dangerous weapons, we’re pleased that this whole experience turned out to be a positive one for both Jose and his two fathers.”
(Philup Nubia and Zerxes Jones-Smith from PMNS’s Detroit Information, Research, and Translation Service enclave contributed to this article.)