Tuesday, 8 September 2020

A School Called the Cops on a Black 12-Year-Old for Having a Toy Gun in His Own Home

quote [ A Colorado school called the police on a 12-year-old student last month for allegedly playing with a toy gun during an art class on Zoom. He was suspended for a week and now has a record with the county sheriff’s department. ]

I guess we could call it a win cuz he's still alive.
[SFW] [crime & punishment] [+4]
[by HoZay@9:02pmGMT]


conception said @ 10:29pm GMT on 8th Sep [Score:4 Underrated]
I was like "Well, if a teacher sees a kid with what looks like a gun then they should report it..."

then read "The incident happened on August 27, when a teacher at the Grand Mountain School, a pre-K-8 public school near Colorado Springs, said she saw a student flashing the gun, which is neon green and black with an orange tip and the words “Zombie Hunter” printed on it. The school notified the El Paso County (Colorado) Sheriff’s Department, which conducted a welfare check on the student."

And went to "Oh fuck these people."

And by "Though police threatened charges, the Elliotts’ son was ultimately handed a five-day suspension and a mark on his disciplinary record, infuriating the Elliotts. The school refused to drop the suspension or the mark on their son’s disciplinary record, the parents told the Post. " I was at "Burn it all down." again.
Dienes said @ 1:14pm GMT on 9th Sep [Score:2]
As someone who has to teach online, let me assure you that there is a 90% chance the resolution was so shitty and the screen so small that a lot of those features (e.g., the orange tip) would be difficult to impossible to see.

The fact that it was neon green also doesn't mean much. Nor does it matter that it said "Zombie Hunter" (again, if that white text on neon green background was even visible to the teacher). There's Hello Kitty guns out there.

Teachers are mandated reporters, so "child possibly playing with a gun" is something they are obligated to report to be on the safe side.

That being said, calling the cops to a black kid's house when they have a toy gun can be a death sentence just like NOT notifying someone when a small child has an actual gun can be a death sentence. I would have looked into other programs first that would perhaps send over a social worker or...anyone who wasn't a cop, really.

Did the school and the cops do everything wrong? Yeah. I'd be more shocked if they hadn't fucked that up. Frankly, the fact that they didn't shoot the kid is a pleasant surprise.
C18H27NO3 said[1] @ 7:28pm GMT on 9th Sep [Score:1 Underrated]
I imagine the school has enrollment records, and contact information for all students and their parents. Do you think the more prudent thing to do was call the house and speak to the parents, completely removing law enforcement or welfare workers from the equation entirely? Or maybe just ask the kid what he's playing with? "Where'd you get the gun, junior?"

If this were in person schooling, the teacher would walk over and see that it was a toy gun. C19 has changed that and it's akin to calling the cops before finding out if the kid has a real gun during recess.

But I don't know what kind of liability teachers have during zoom classes or what the protocol is for when and if a kid brings a toy or real gun to school. Maybe they just run and hide in the principals office and call 911, regardless. /shrug

What we do know for sure is that this kid will remember this "event" forever, on top of it being on his record. That's really fucked.

Dienes said @ 7:59pm GMT on 9th Sep
Considering how different remote and F2F instruction are, what the teacher would do in the completely different situation of having the toy gun in the classroom has no bearing here.

To address your questions:
  • Drawing the other students' attention to it in the moment by interrupting the lesson to ask about it can exacerbate the situation, encouraging the kid to play with it more. Even asking them to put it away can be counter productive since the teacher has zero ability to actually enforce it, prompting the kid to play with it more just because they can. Students know how impotent their teachers are in remote instruction.
  • Asking children, even 12yo children, for critical information isn't the most reliable route to take. Children, even 12yo children, are capable of 1) mistaking a real gun for a fake gun, and vice versa; and 2) lying. If a kid has a real gun and actually knows its a real gun, there's a 99% chance they are going to lie to avoid getting in trouble.
  • Most states require reports to be filed with authorities within 24-48 hours. This often doesn't allow you time to investigate a matter further. In potentially emergency situations, the law requires reporting immediately. (A kid with a gun is an emergency situation.)
  • Mandated reporters are actually discouraged from conducting their own investigation. They aren't trained for it and have no authority for it. In doing so, they might 1) delay a critical report submission (and therefore, meaningful action), 2) collect information incorrectly (e.g., use leading questions, coercion, etc.), 3) tip off the accused so they can hide evidence/coach the child, and/or 4) trigger an abusive episode (e.g., "I'll beat your ass for telling your teacher!").

    Again, the teacher did nothing wrong. If this was a case of neglect and the child was beaten for telling, you'd be blaming the teacher for not taking the proper route. If it was an actual gun and the kid shot himself or his parent, you'd blame the teacher for not taking this seriously as a potentially life-threatening situation. You have to err on the side of caution here because in the end, if you are wrong, a kid is dead.

    A single mark on his disciplinary record isn't an issue. The 5-day suspension is. Give the kid the same punishment you'd give a white kid for using his Switch in class.
  • C18H27NO3 said @ 6:39pm GMT on 13th Sep
    Fair enough. Thanks for the insight. I guess I was just remembering what it was like when I was 12 years old a long, long time ago. Times have changed. The worst thing I remember at 12 was a kid bringing a handful of joints on a group outing in a cabin in the woods. . . nobody got caught for smokin' herb. Guns, knives, and other weapons weren't a problem at my school.
    conception said @ 7:14pm GMT on 10th Sep [Score:1 Underrated]
    I know what you're trying to say but she said she saw the orange tip, etc. That's what I'm basing my "fuck these people on." If she said, "It was hard to see and I was being prudent" we're back to "They should report it." Maybe she misspoke or bad reporting, etc etc. Teachers have it real hard now. All the ones I know are struggling as much as the parents of kids are. It's a giant clusterfuck.

    This sort of shit isn't helping though.
    Hugh E. said @ 12:47am GMT on 11th Sep
    The person who called the cops who killed Tamir Rice specifically mentioned he was probably playing with a toy. The 911 dispatcher was more interested in the race of the child. The criminal cop was more interested in shooting the child.
    HoZay said @ 2:28am GMT on 9th Sep [Score:1 Funsightful]
    An emotional roller coaster ride, but all drops.
    Paracetamol said @ 4:27am GMT on 9th Sep
    War toys in general aren't permitted here at primary school events due to pedagogic reasons. I guess each school handles this a bit differently.
    the circus said @ 4:27pm GMT on 9th Sep
    I wonder if he'd been seen playing with army men if they would have called the army.

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