A fifth grade student in Maryland had the cops called on him after someone noticed a BB gun in the kid’s room during a virtual lesson.
The child’s mother, “a Navy veteran with four years of active duty” who has “extensive knowledge” of guns and their use, told a local news station the police came to her house on June 1 in response to a complaint.
“[The officer] explained to me that he was here to search for weapons, in my home,” Courtney Lancaster said. Her son, a student at Seneca Elementary School in Baltimore County, is in the process of becoming an Eagle Scout and thus “has learned how to shoot a BB gun[,] an airsoft gun [and has] taken three levels of archery lessons.”
The boy’s guns and bow are mounted on a pegboard in his bedroom.
Police told Lancaster “someone had seen the guns in her son’s bedroom during a Google Meet class on his laptop” and had made a screenshot of the image. After trading emails with a school administrator, Lancaster discovered Seneca’s principal had been notified, and then the school’s “safety officer” called the cops.
She said the principal “compared bringing a weapon to a virtual class to bringing a gun to school.” Lancaster added that she was not permitted to see the screenshot photo.
“I thought, this is outrageous. This is despicable,” [Lancaster] said. “I had no idea what in the world could this be over? BB guns never even once entered my mind. How many 11-year-old boys have BB guns?” …
“I felt violated as a parent, for my child, who’s standing there with police officers in his room, just to see the fear on his face,” she said. …
“It’s absolutely scary to think about,” Courtney said. “Who are on these calls? Who do we have viewing your children and subsequently taking these screenshots that can be sent anywhere or used for any purpose?”
Project Baltimore reached out to Baltimore County Schools requesting an interview. We received this statement, “Our longstanding policy is to not debate individual circumstances through the media. There are multiple ways for families to share concerns with us. In general terms, the safety of students and staff is our chief concern, whether we are meeting in classrooms or via continuity of learning.”
Mrs. Lancaster asked a good question: What if a kid is set up for online learning, say, on a kitchen island … and there’s a butcher block full of knives in view? Would the police be called then?
IMAGE: Giulio Fornasar / Shutterstock.com