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Parents: Short suspension leads to prolonged punishment

Friday - 3/29/2013, 2:25pm  ET

Max Smith, wtop.com

WASHINGTON - The parents of a Virginia fourth grader who was suspended for threatening to shoot a fellow student in the head if she tried to kiss him say it has taken too long for their son to return to school.

Nick Williams was initially suspended for two days from John Pattie Elementary in Dumfries, Va. in late February, but it has taken more than a month to get him back in the classroom.

Prince William County Public Schools require a formal review of any threats a principal deems "substantive" before the student is allowed back.

Superintendent Steve Walts admits there's a backlog, potentially because of jitters after the Sandy Hook shootings, InsideNova reports.

Other school systems in the D.C. region have threat assessment teams, but the requirements vary for returning to school after a suspension.

Prince George's County schools, for instance, require the principal to confer with teachers and others before allowing a suspended student to return to the classroom.

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