Sometimes, schools can be absolutely idiotic. I’ve heard some whoppers throughout my years when it comes to schools and their “zero tolerance” policies. Enough so that I think some think “tolerance” is a synonym for “thinking.” However, last week Cam wrote about a 12-year-old girl facing felony charges for making a finger gun. It turns out the girl had just turned 13, but still…it was ridiculous.
It’s even more ridiculous because as Cam noted last week, two kids who brought actual guns to school aren’t facing such charges.
However, we have a little bit more information about the girl.
Vanessa McCaron says she pleaded with an Overland Park Police school resource officer not to arrest her daughter for pointing a finger, formed to look like a gun, at four of her middle school classmates.
“He said, ‘I will press charges against anyone who I think has broken the law,’” said McCaron, who contacted The Star following Wednesday’s initial story about the incident. “He had such a great opportunity to use his badge to change something in a child, but he chose not to,” she added. “I think this is an insane abuse of power.
“She is a child. She is kind. She’s loving. She’s shy. She is a precocious kid who is passionate about gun control, human rights and cats. That’s what she cares about.”
The officer said he’d press charges against anyone who he thinks broke the law? Then why aren’t the two students mentioned above facing felony charges?
And further, just what laws are violated by making a finger gun? Hell, I made two on a basketball court in the middle of a varsity game my senior year of high school. Was I committing a felony? Of course not.
McCaron said that a boy in her daughter’s class had asked her, if you could kill five people in this class who would they be? The girl formed a gun with her fingers and pointed at the other students one at a time, and then turned the pretend weapon toward herself.
Overland Park Police Chief Frank Donchez on Friday confirmed those facts, but also said there’s more he could not disclose. Donchez supports his officer’s decision to arrest the girl.
Oh, I’d be fascinated to hear what other facts there are that somehow make a finger gun a felony-worthy action.
Frankly, I doubt there are any.
Both the officer and the girl’s mother agree that she was asked a specific question–admittedly, a morbid and bizarre question, but still a question–and simply answered it. Further, her decision to turn the finger gun on herself suggests that she is, indeed, being bullied severely and is suffering depression as a result of it.
This is supported by her mother’s comments:
McCaron claims the boy who prompted her daughter to point her pretend pistol was among a number of children who had been bullying her daughter at school for some time.
A year ago, McCaron said, another student punched her daughter in the face on the school bus. McCaron said she complained to school leaders about the bullying, but it continued.
After school one day, she said, her daughter told her, “these kids are awful.”
Ironically, the incident was reported on the bullying tip line that appears to have failed McCaron’s daughter so spectacularly.
The fact remains, though, that answering a question is not a threat, nor should it ever be considered a threat. Frankly, she was threatening her own life just as much. Then the school reacts to the situation like this and just how in the hell do you think a young girl is going to respond to something like this?
There’s nothing about this that doesn’t stink to high heaven.