Proper Report By Second Grader Results In Massive Panic

When a second grade student at a Middleton elementary school noticed “a gun” in the backpack of a fellow 7 or 8-year-old second grader, he did the right thing and told his teacher.

Canyon County SO Photo of toy gun

Canyon County SO Photo of toy gun

The teacher did the right thing and notified school officials. From that point it got weird according to a report in the DAILY PAPER. For better or worse–remember, we are talking 7-year-old kid with a toy gun zipped away in his backpack–school officials called the Canyon County sheriff.

In a normal society untainted by school shootings, cops killing 12-year-old kids on video, big kids scaring cops so bad they blow away the kid resulting in riots, a copper would be sent to visit the classroom.

We are no longer a normal society. Canyon’s Sheriff responded with 18 coppers, several nearby schools were “locked down,” and the poor little 7-year-old was immediately suspended from school. We don’t know the words used by the teacher, the administration, or the dispatcher, but such an over reaction is bound to make future witnesses “gun shy” about reporting potential misbehavior.

A seasoned teacher would have simply picked up the child’s backpack and in a worse case scenario, called the boy’s mother. The sheriff says the kid did not display the toy gun (with red cap on the barrel), didn’t threaten, didn’t point it at anyone.

There is the usual “continuing investigation,” but we suspect somewhere after the well intended notification by the second grade student and confiscation of the toy, the report escalated to, “Gun in a classroom> call police> unknown weapon at school> send back up> lock down schools just in case> suspended for no tolerance.”

Everyone needs to calm down and COMMUNICATE. Everyday folks on cell phones race to call 911 to report car crashes. Police get so many calls with reports in the “east lane, west lane, just before and just after milepost 54,” that the
dispatcher sends fire trucks, ambulance, and police fearing multiple crashes and injuries.

Today’s computer dispatching and truncated lingo can have tragic results when responding officers are sent to “man with a gun” calls instead of “caller thinks there is a boy with a fake gun.” A 12-year-old kid was killed by Cleveland coppers who made a hasty response, driving within 8 feet of the youth across the grass in a small park.

Comments & Discussion

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  1. I thought I was reading a story in The Onion! I agree with your assesment Dave, teacher should have confiscated toy and called the kids parents, end of story. Instead, mass media and Obama administration demonization of guns filters down to school teachers and administrators, causing an unnecessary over reaction. Shame on all involved!

  2. Guardian, Your comments would have a little more credibility if you did not trivialize the officer in Ferguson by stating”big kids scaring cops so bad they blow away the kid resulting in riots.” As it turned out, the 18 year old adult 300 pound MAN assaulted that cop and tried to take his gun away from him. Not to mention the strong armed robbery this “Kid” committed. All of this is of course Irrelevant to what happened in Middleton. Keep it on topic and relevant.

    EDITOR NOTE–Please take another look at the post and the INTENT. My message is: things escalate because they are not seen for what they are. Your “man” was a shoplifter who brushed aside the shopkeeper. That has become an “armed robbery” by most reports. Check out the local arrest reports and see how many women are charged with felony assault on a peace officer when they are nothing more than drunken party animals who kicked a copper during an arrest scuffle.

  3. Well I am glad you are not teaching new officers the difference between petit theft and robbery. When force or fear is used to take something from someone else, it becomes robbery. The video clearly shows Brown shoving the store owner out of the way, almost exiting the store and then returning to say something to the store owner. If you had been the store owner, I bet you would have experienced some fear.
    TITLE 18
    CHAPTER 65
    18-6501. ROBBERY DEFINED. Robbery is the felonious taking of personal property in the possession of another, from his person or immediate presence, and against his will, accomplished by means of force or fear.

  4. I brought a Remington 870 to 6th grade for show-n-tell… with the teachers permission. It was behind the seat of my truck all through high school… so as to be handy for the occasional easy shot presenting near the road.

    A movie you all need to see is called “Idiocracy” because we are headed there real quick!!

  5. Excellent post. This is what “zero tolerance” policies get us.

  6. Bieter+begone
    Dec 3, 2014, 8:21 am

    Smeg is right Dave. A 300 lb 6’5″ 18 year old is just a “kid” in the sense that anyone uner 45 is a kid to a 65 year old. He was an adult. And he didn’t brush aside the much smaller clerk, he shoved him and then menaced him, after robbing the place. And he was “blown away” because he attacked the cop, tried to take his gun and then was coming back for more. And it did result in riots, fed by his stepfather/mothers boyfriend/it’s said they weren’t married screaming to the crowd “BURN THIS €itch!!!”

    Otherwise your post was right on. But this kind of nonsensical escalation occurs because there is no common sense in the schools anymore, and very little anywhere else.

  7. Parents!

  8. How the world has changed!

    I can’t remember taking a cap gun to school, but I bet I did it. (I can remember buying caps at Roosevelt Market across the street and hitting ’em with a hammer or rock. Bang! Bang!)

    I took my prized WWII German officer’s Solingen sword (best Christmas present EVER!) to East Jr. High to show to my classmates. My buddy Dan and I engaged in a bit of dramatic sword-fighting in the hallowed halls afterwards – he with a broom handle, me with my sword. Youthful foolishness… a teacher may have seen us and scolded us before walking on. Imagine such a scenario in the 21st Century! (The SWAT team would roll in, in their mine-proof terrorist tank! I – and likely Dan – would be eating asbestos floor tile!)

    I routinely carried a “scout knife.” Everybody did. You’d get expelled for that in 2014. Where’s the common sense?

    One thing hasn’t changed – that young Middleton mischief-maker will have a red mark on his PERMANENT RECORD, I bet! Life ruined! (I don’t know where my permanent record is… but someday it will rear its ugly head, and I won’t be able to say the principal didn’t warn me!)

    (Regarding the “Ferguson tragedy,” it WAS a tragedy, no matter who you care to blame. And it picked the scab off the societal wound that will never quite heal, no matter how much we’d like it to.)

  9. A common theme of unwarranted fear is being promoted through the infotainmentment we in Amerika mistakenly call the news.
    You are far more likely to be injured or killed by a LOT of everyday activities, yet guns have become the current boogeyman. Why?
    The “school shootings” that are happening like clockwork and being reported in the corporate media 24/7 are most likely scripted and orchestrated by elements within our Federal Govt that have made it their mission to disarm the U.S. citizen, while turning our cops into battle ready troops who view us as the enemy.
    The only thing we should fear is our own government, for history shows that it always trends toward protecting and furthering its own power, and serving the elite at the expense of the common man.
    It is time to reboot our government and ban all current participants for life.

  10. I think Brown was a punk that someone would have needed to shoot eventually. I believe the editor made an impassioned statement which is somewhat erroneous as to the harmless nature of said punk.

    Now let us focus on the main point of the story…. which is the silliness and waste and danger caused by the lack of common sense in our laws/policies/reactions to harmless events.

  11. “big kids scaring cops”?
    Where did this happen? (sarcasm)

    Yes, things escalate easily.
    Often police are escalating them.

    A cop rolls up to 2 people to tell them to use the sidewalk and then finds it necessary to REVERSE on the street and drive up on them AGAIN 2 feet away just because they didn’t immediately jump on the sidewalk…

    So a police officer doesn’t haven’t anything better to do other than enforce jaywalking in a low-traffic neighborhood?

    Who is scaring who?

  12. Booger+Hoots
    Dec 3, 2014, 1:03 pm

    What’s ridiculous is parents letting small children go to school with handguns. Real, working, loaded handguns. My wife once had to disarm a 5 year old–it happens all the time and has for many years. The only difference for my wife was there were no official procedures for responding to weapons being brought to school. Now every school has them. Those procedures are driven by what insurance companies want, not what teachers and administrators want. When you read a story like this, try to keep in mind that this is only an opinion piece written by a dimwitted hack, not a news article–the intent of this piece is only to persuade people to be angry over something they know nothing about, not inform or educate.

    EDITOR NOTE–We don’t condone name calling, but since it is aimed at us, we will allow it. We will not, however, allow you to speak about our intent. Intent is to offer a forum for discussion and attempt to instill some semblance of reason. Please don’t respond to the GUARDIAN again in this manner.

  13. Two issues here (Police Response and School Response), same conclusion:

    Police/Schools over react because the community would crucify them if they under-reacted to a real situation.

    Society is to blame, we complain when they do too much, we complain when they do to little.

    If they do too little, someone might get hurt, so they error on the side of caution and do too much, knowing they will take some criticism for it.

    Where the logic erodes is with the suspension of the poor child. When the storm of a response was over, logic should prevail and the school should have a talk with the child and the parents and leave it at that. Zero tolerance shows a lack of courage in leaders to review a situation on its own merits, and make and stand behind a decision.

  14. I will also lament the woes of society, I went to high school in a rural/suburban area in the 90’s and the student parking lot was full of trucks with gun racks with deer rifles and shotguns in sight. Never had a school shooting, never saw a gun in class, other than my history teacher showing us his machine gun from Vietnam and demonstrating the proper method of killing a communist.

    I feel safer in a society where instead of empty zero-tolerance policies, parents teach their children how to properly use a gun for self defense or outdoor sports, teach children the sanctity of life (religious or not we can agree life is sacred), how to properly resolve conflict, and talk with their children about life to be ahead of the curve if their child is having problems, versus waiting for the outburst which might manifest itself in the manner of video games the child is engorged in thanks to the parent buying the electronic babysitter and rated M kill-fest video game for their child.

  15. Grumpy+ole+Guy
    Dec 3, 2014, 10:50 pm

    I was 9-10 years old when my parents began to teach me to handle deadly weapons, in the 1940’s. I was expected to handle toy weapons the same way. That was a long, long time ago and probably has no bearing on how a child now-a-days should be taught.
    The fact remains that they should be taught. The fact remains that Society should have a standard of expectation. This incident should be judged on its own standard and I think that the Guardian outlines it well. If it had been a real gun and if it had been fired there would have been outrage at any inaction. As it is, it appears that there was over reaction. What-ifs make up more of our lives than the what dids.

  16. Rod+in+SE+Boise
    Dec 4, 2014, 12:44 pm

    Police over-reaction is so common it has become one of, if not the, major problem in society. (Maybe I shouldn’t use the word “society” – jungle might be more appropriate.

  17. Brian Fendley
    Dec 8, 2014, 9:24 pm

    I agree that zero tolerance policies are nothing more than an excuse for staff and administrators to not have to “think” and actually handle a situation based on the merits.

  18. Ignorance results in more ignorance. I got a gopro for christmas, stuck it on my bike went to the local park where a man with a very red face told me to leave the park while approaching me with bulging eyes, he apparently thought I was filming his kids…. so he called the cops on me. I met the cop first when he pulled in and explained I barely knew how to work the thing and this guy was kicking me out with threat of force. Smart cop went over and informed the guy about my civil rights and the law. Guess what? the guy was a high school teacher, doing this in front of children….. Hence my opening line.

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