Zero-tolerance rules sound great on paper but they quickly devolve into mindless bureaucratic stupidity. The case of one 12-year-old girl attending Westridge Middle School in Overland Park, Kansas, epitomizes this insanity.
On September 18, 2019, she held her hand in the shape of a gun, pointing it at four other students while saying bang, then repeating the same gesture to herself.
This was in response to the question, “theoretically, if she could kill any five people in the room, whom she would pick?”
When viewed absent any context, the 12-year-old girl’s actions could admittedly be seen as disturbing.
When her actions are observed in their full context, the school’s response – charging her with felony uttering criminal threats – is laughable.
Cue The Rutherford Institute and constitutional lawyer John W. Whitehead, who provides free legal representation to those whose civil rights are threatened or infringed. The Institute is one of the most effective defenders of civil liberties in the United States, and I’ve long been a fan. [Click for a list of my past articles on their work.]
From The Rutherford Institute’s description of what transpired.
The incident arose during a classroom discussion at Westridge Middle School on Sept. 18, 2019, when a young girl was asked, theoretically, if she could kill any five people in the room, whom she would pick. The 13-year-old girl then pointed to four fellow students and herself, using her hand to mimic a “finger gun.” She was subsequently sent to the principal’s office, where the school resource officer recommended that she be arrested. With the principal’s approval, the school resource officer then took the girl outside, handcuffed and arrested her, transported her to a juvenile detention center, and charged her with a felony.
The school district refuses to back down and drop the felony charge.
This is problematic for the school district because, less than 30 days prior to the finger gun terror event, two 13-year-old students brought real firearms to school in their backpacks.
They were charged with misdemeanor offenses, not felony criminal charges.
In the minds of these school officials, kids bringing real firearms to school in their backpacks is no big deal. It’s the girl with her terrifying finger gun we must punish as severely as possible.
This young girl probably wishes she was Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz right about now. Sadly, she is still in Kansas, surrounded by politically-correct nonsense.
Thankfully for this girl, John W. Whitehead and The Rutherford Institute are by her side, advocating for common sense to prevail.
Read The Rutherford Institute’s letter to Dr. Michael Fulton, Superintendent of the Shawnee Mission School District in Kansas.
If you support The Rutherford Institute’s work on this girl’s behalf, please donate today.
What do you think? Is this school and school district out of their minds? Or does this 12-year-old girl deserve a felony criminal record for pointing her finger and saying “Bang”?
Please let me know your thoughts in the comments below.