A North Carolina mother says her 5-year-old daughter was suspended from school after she was found playing with a stick that resembled a gun.
Brandy Miller said her daughter Caitlin was suspended for one day on Friday after she and her two friends were playing "King and Queen" at her school in Hoke County, North Carolina, ABC affiliate WTVD reported Tuesday.
In the game, Caitlin played a guard, protecting the royals, and picked up the "stick gun" to imitate shooting an intruder into the kingdom.
The Hoke County School system said Caitlin posed a threat to other students when she made a shooting motion -- a violation of school policy, officials said.
"We know why it's bad," Miller told WTVD. "We watch the news, but then I have to tell my kid, 'you're not allowed to play like that in school because people do bad things to kids your age.'"
The Hoke County School school system defended its policy in a statement and said it would "not tolerate assaults, threats or harassment from any student."
"Any student engaging in such behavior will be removed from the classroom or school environment for as long as is necessary to provide a safe and orderly environment for learning," the school system told WTVD in a statement.
Caitlin returned from the one-day suspension on Tuesday, but her mom said was alienated by her friends and teachers over the incident.
She said she would like for the school to apologize to her daughter.