Halifax Co. Elementary School Students Suspended Over "Shooters"

Halifax Co., VA - Kids will be kids, but Halifax County Administrators say, this is more than just child's play.

Meadville Elementary School Principal Marliss Barczak says students used hollowed out markers and pens to shoot air gun pellets on the playground and even on the school bus.

One of those pellets hit a school bus driver.

The driver told Barczak and she handed down 15 suspensions.

"There could have been an accident. Someone could have lost an eye. I wanted to make it perfectly clear that we would not tolerate that, " said Barczak.

But the parents of some of those students are saying that punishment is too harsh.

"I don't consider it a weapon. I spit spitballs as well when I was a child. It's a child's game, " said parent Deanna Simmers.

Amy and Aaron Fisher say their son is an honor roll student who had never been in trouble before.

"They just did not know they were doing anything wrong. They did not know it could potentially harm anybody, " said Amy Fisher.

And others say had an alert been sent home to parents, it never would have gotten this far.

"I'm one of the parents that I search my kids' bookbags every morning. They could have sent an instant message alert saying 'Hey, these things have been a problem. We need to nip this in the bud', " said Melanie Strohm.

But Barczak says the punishment sends an important message about the school's low tolerance for anything remotely like a weapon.

"We take child safety very seriously, " Barczak said.

According to the school's code of conduct, the principal does have the option to choose what kind of discipline the students receive.

Most of those students had returned to school Tuesday after serving their one day of suspension on Friday.