A central Ohio principal suspended 10-year-old Nathan Entingh last week for three days for pretending his finger was a gun and pointing it at another student's head.
The incident occurred at Devonshire Alternative Elementary School in Columbus.
District spokesman Jeff Warner tells The Columbus Dispatch that Devonshire principal Patricia Price has warned students about pretend gun play numerous times this year, and everyone should know the rules by now.
10TV caught up with the 10-year-old on his return to his 5th grade class after serving a three day suspension.
Entingh says he's sorry. He tells 10TV he was "playing around" and he now knows his joke wasn't funny.
"I feel sorry for even thinking about doing that now."
A teacher says she caught him pointing his finger like a gun at another student's head. She immediately pulled Entingh from class last Wednesday.
“I understand the sensitivity at schools these days with guns and stuff, but this wasn't a toy gun, it wasn't a look-like gun, it was his hand,” says Nathan’s father, Paul Entingh.
In paperwork obtained by 10TV, the school administrator explained it violated school rules.
Nathan's father says he agrees his son needed punished, but forcing his son to fall 3 days behind in school is too much.
“I could understand a day in-school suspension, but three days out of school suspension is a reach. I'm sure there's stuff in class that he's missing that he won't be able to get back."
Ohio state Senator Charleta Tavares told 10TV that the zero tolerance policy makes for "inappropriate punishment" in a lot of cases.
In fact, she has introduced a bill to repeal it.
"I believe we need to give the flexibility to administrators and educators so they can look at the circumstance, the child and behavior," said Tavares.
A growing number of Ohio lawmakers seem to support the idea.
The chair of the Education Committee is not ready to endorse the bill, but agrees something will change.
"Whether we end up clarifying the language or changing it all together, I'm not sure. But there's a problem that has to be addressed. We saw today a story where a boy is suspended for pretending to have a gun and that's ridiculous," said Sen. Peggy Lehner.