A nine-year-old boy was suspended from school after a teacher spotted a BB gun in his room during an online lesson.
Ka Mauri Harrison, a pupil at Woodmere Elementary in Harvey, Louisiana, missed six days of teaching over the incident on 11 September.
He returned to class on Thursday, but his family's lawyer has accused education authorities of a "terrible overreaction".
Ka Mauri said he had been receiving an online lesson in his bedroom when his younger brother walked in and tripped over a BB gun.
“My brother walked in the room and tripped over the BB gun and I put it on the side of me,” the boy told WDSU.
Ka Mauri's teacher called out his name to ask about the BB gun, but he did not reply because his laptop was on mute while he tried to concentrate on the lesson, his family said.
The teacher then reportedly disconnected the boy from the lesson.
The child's teacher subsequently reported the incident, apprently concerned that the boy was in possession of an assault rifle.
“Harrison left his seat (at home) momentarily, out of view of the teacher,” a Louisiana Department of Education report said.
“When the student returned, he had what appeared to be a full-sized rifle in his possession.”
Officials at the department listed the incident as possession of "weapons prohibited under federal law”.
Ka Mauri’s parents, Nyron Harrison and Thelma Williams, called the school and learned about the suspension.
“They are treating it as if he brought a weapon to school,” Nyron Harrison said. “They told me he would be facing expulsion.”
Nyron Harrison told NOLA.com that he bought a BB gun, and not a rifle, adding he taught his son how to use it safely.
Ka Mauri's suspension was upheld on Tuesday — the department of education recommended expelling him, according to WDSU.
“This is a terrible overreaction,” Chelsea Cusimano, the attorney representing the Harrison family, told the television station.
“This is not a child bringing a weapon to school. This was a toy that was in his bedroom. This would be the same as if you had two siblings in a room and one’s ADHD medication was in the background and that child’s getting charged with a drug charge.”
Woodmere Elementary said in a statement that it did not comment on individual school records.
“Regarding discipline, it is our policy that teachers and administrators may employ reasonable disciplinary and corrective measures to maintain order,” the statement added.