Elijah Thurston, 6, was recently suspended from Stratton Meadows Elementary School in Colorado Springs, Colorado, for making his finger into the shape of a gun and telling a classmate, "You're dead."
A school administrator lectured the first-grader about confusing reality and fiction, which is what most children this age normally do.
Elijah was suspended for one day for making threats against a classmate, a disciplinary note that could stay on his school record.
"Of course, I think he was playing," Thurston's father, Austin, told KRDO (video below). "What 6-year-old doesn't play cops and robbers, or cowboys and Indians?"
"Going as far as a one-day suspension is a little extreme for a 6-year-old in a first-grade class," added Austin.
Austin and his wife have spoken to Elijah about guns, and are making him write an apology to the school, but Austin isn't happy with the school's actions.
"These are the people that are teaching our kids; these are the people that are going to be showing our kids into the future ... I think they could've handled it better," Austin told 11 News.
"There is no such thing as violent play," Michael Thompson, a psychologist, told LiveScience in 2010. "Violence and aggression are intended to hurt somebody. Play is not intended to hurt somebody. Play, rougher in its themes and rougher physically, is a feature of boyhood in every society on Earth."