"He made a mistake, but why the severe punishment? I don't understand that," Magdiel Burgos, Samuel's father, told the station.
Officials maintain it's a cut-and-dried case - that the toy gun was capable of firing projectiles, earning it's classification as a weapon. They say 8-year-old Samuel can attend a nearby correctional school for problem children.
His parents refused that option last year - opting to home-school him - and remain opposed to the idea.
"I can't sit here and allow them to send my kid to a school where students have committed actual crimes," his father told the station. "He hasn't committed a crime."
Magdiel Burgos said his son has been set back emotionally and academically - he'll likely have to repeat the 2nd grade.
The Burgoses plan to attend a school board meeting next week in an effort to get their son re-enrolled in Pembroke Pines.