If you’ve been following the story of Ka’Mauri Harrison, the 9-year old from Harvey, Louisiana who was suspended from school after briefly and accidentally displaying a BB gun during an online class, you know that the state’s attorney general Jeff Landry has taken an interest in the case, calling what happened to the young man an outrage and vowing to help him and his family find some justice. I’m very pleased that the Attorney General could join me on today’s Bearing Arms’ Cam & Co to talk about the case, including some important new developments.
Landry revealed during our interview that not only is his office prepared to do what it can within the legal system to help Harrison, but that several lawmakers in Baton Rouge are also interested in writing legislation that would hopefully end the possibility of school districts invading the privacy of students’ homes during online class sessions and punishing them for protected First and Second Amendment activities.
Landry notes that legislators have just returned to the state capitol for a special session, and he predicts that by the time the session concludes the legislature will have passed a bill. Whether or not Gov. Jon Bel Edwards (no relation) would go along and sign the bill is an open question at the moment. The governor has not weighed in on the Harrison case, though it seems like everyone else in Louisiana has offered their own opinion. On Wednesday, the Advocate newspaper opined that Harrison deserves to be cut a break by the Jefferson Parish school district.
The school investigation and district hearing don’t seem to have taken into account that Ka’Mauri meant no harm, the weapon was a BB gun and he was moving it because his brother tripped. At this point, the suspension has been served and it is on his school record.
The case has gotten a lot of local, state and national attention. CBS, CNN, The Washington Post, The New York Times, USA Today and media abroad have published stories about Ka’Mauri’s case.
Though the matter has been officially resolved, it’s clear that this was a young boy doing his best to be a mature, responsible student. The suspension time cannot be given back. But Ka’Mauri’s record can be cleared by removing the suspension so it doesn’t become a hindrance to his academic progress at Woodmere, in the Jefferson Parish Schools district or elsewhere in years to come.
The district superintendent and school officials should show Ka’Mauri what responsible leadership looks like by withdrawing his suspension and wiping his school slate clean.
That would be a good start, though I’d add that the school district owes Ka’Mauri and his family an apology as well.
The problem is that this could happen to any student in any school district, and we’ve already seen how the Jefferson Parish school officials have dug in their heels and are resisting any attempt to make amends for their overreaction. I’m looking forward to seeing the specifics of the legislation that is in the works in Baton Rouge, and hopefully it could serve as a model for other states as well as helping to ensure that kids in Louisiana aren’t punished for doing what any normal kid would do in the same situation.
Be sure to check out the entire conversation with Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry in the video window above, and stay tuned, because there’s going to be much more of this story to come in the weeks ahead.