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Title: Overkill: 13-Year-Old Student Handcuffed, Arrested, Charged With Felony & Criminally Prosecuted for Pointing Imaginary ‘Finger Gun’ at Classmates
Source: The Rutherford Institute
URL Source: https://www.rutherford.org/publicat ... inary_finger_gun_at_classmates
Published: Nov 15, 2019
Author: John Whitehead
Post Date: 2019-11-28 01:55:27 by Deckard
Keywords: None
Views: 113
Comments: 6

OVERLAND PARK, Kan.— Condemning draconian zero tolerance school policies bereft of common sense, The Rutherford Institute is demanding that a Kansas City area school district seek the exoneration of a middle school student who pointed an imaginary “finger gun” at classmates, resulting in her being handcuffed, arrested, charged with a felony for threatening a mass shooting, and criminally prosecuted.  Incredibly, the girl with the "imaginary" gun was punished more harshly than students who brought actual guns to school in their backpacks.

The hand gesture, which involves an individual using their hand to mimic an imaginary handgun, is commonly referred to as a “finger gun” and is widely seen throughout popular culture, in movies, TV shows, music videos, and on social media. Indeed, the finger gun gesture was even employed by President Obama in a humorous 2015 promotional video for his health care plan. 

More recently, President Trump used the finger gun gesture in a May 2018 speech. In a letter to the Shawnee Mission (Kan.) School District superintendent, Rutherford Institute attorneys assert that the overreaction by Westridge Middle School’s resource officer and principal to the finger gun incident undermines the public’s confidence in safety measures and the ability of school officials to distinguish between a dangerous act and one that is simply childish.

“To harshly penalize a child for using her hand to point an imaginary finger gun—mimicking a widely used gesture in popular culture, including by present and past presidents of the United States—sends a conflicting, confusing and hypocritical message at a time when schools are wrestling with legitimate concerns about violence on and off campus involving actual weapons,” said constitutional attorney John W. Whitehead, president of The Rutherford Institute and author of Battlefield America: The War on the American People. “We all want to keep the schools safe, but it is far better to see something credible done about actual threats, rather than this ongoing, senseless targeting of childish behavior that poses no threat, causes no disruption and results in young people being suspended, expelled, and even arrested under school policies that punish all offenses severely, no matter how minor the so-called infraction may be.”

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.

Contrast this with the punishment meted out to two 13-year-old students in the same school district who, the previous month, brought actual guns to school in their backpacks and were charged with misdemeanors, a far less serious punishment than the felony charge levied against the young girl for wielding an imaginary finger gun. Ironically, while this young girl is being punished harshly for supposedly violating the school district’s policies on bullying and intimidation, the girl was allegedly herself being subjected to bullying and intimidation.

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#1. To: Deckard (#0)

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.

Additional context: Another student asked her who she would shoot. Someone who felt threatened reported the matter via an anti-bullying portal. A school spokesman said the arrest was a poilce decision.

https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/kansas-13-year-old-girl-who-pointed-finger-gun-classmates-n1064991

Kansas 13-year-old girl who pointed finger gun at classmates charged with a felony

The student in Overland Park, Kansas, was allegedly asked by a classmate if she could kill five people in class, who would they be.

Oct. 11, 2019, 9:53 AM CDT
NBC News
By Minyvonne Burke

A Kansas middle school girl who formed her fingers into a gun and pointed it at several of her classmates after another student asked her who would she would kill was arrested and charged with a felony.

The incident happened on Sept. 18 at Westridge Middle School in Overland Park, about 13 miles south of Kansas City, after administrators were alerted to a potential threat made by a 13-year-old student, police said in a news release.

According to the Kansas City Star, the girl was having a discussion with a classmate who asked if she could kill five people in the room, who would they be. The girl responded by allegedly making a finger gun and pointing it at four students and then pointing it at herself, the outlet reported.

An Overland Park police spokesperson told NBC News in a statement Friday that an individual who felt threatened used the school's online anti-bullying app to alert administrators, who conducted an investigation and then told the school resource officer.

The resource officer, who is employed by the city's police department, interviewed both students involved who "affirmed the actions which constituted the potential threat," police said.

The girl, whose identity is not being released because she is a juvenile, was then arrested by the resource officer.

"Too often there are reports of violence in schools and inevitably questions about what could or should have been done to prevent the tragedy. Threats in schools are taken very seriously and treated appropriately," police said in the release.

A spokesperson for the Johnson County District Attorney's Office said after reviewing the evidence the girl was charged with criminal threat, which is a felony offense.

https://www.kshb.com/news/local-news/overland-park-student-arrested-for-pointing-finger-gun-at-other-students

Overland Park student arrested for pointing finger gun at other students

By: Jessica McMaster
KSHB
Posted: 4:33 PM, Oct 09, 2019
Updated: 3:17 PM, Oct 15, 2019

OVERLAND PARK, Kan. — An Overland Park student was arrested after she made a gun symbol out of her fingers and pointed it at other students.

The student, a 13-year-old at Westridge Middle School, was arrested by Overland Park police on Sept. 18.

Dave Smith, spokesperson for the Shawnee Mission School District, would only comment on the matter by email saying, "I want to be very clear: The arrest of this student was wholly unrelated to any district policy. It was a municipal police department decision, and our policies don't impact police department decisions."

41 Action News reached out to the Overland Park Police Department about its decision to arrest the student. No one was available to discuss the matter on camera.

Overland Park police said in an email they were made aware of the threat through the school district’s online reporting portal.

School officials and a school resource officer questioned the student, as well as another. The interviews corroborated the account of the potential threat.

The resource officer arrested the student and took her back to an “appropriate facility,” police said.

The Johnson County District Attorney’s Office then filed charges.

“Ensuring the safety of everyone in a school, or community, is a top priority and requires constant vigilance, parents reminding their children of proper behavior in school and an understanding by the public that each case is thoroughly investigated before any arrest is made and a charge filed,” police said.

nolu chan  posted on  2019-11-28   2:25:00 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#2. To: nolu chan (#1) (Edited)

A spokesperson for the Johnson County District Attorney's Office said after reviewing the evidence the girl was charged with criminal threat, which is a felony offense.

A felony for pointing a finger?

The hand gesture, which involves an individual using their hand to mimic an imaginary handgun, is commonly referred to as a “finger gun” and is widely seen throughout popular culture, in movies, TV shows, music videos, and on social media. Indeed, the finger gun gesture was even employed by President Obama in a humorous 2015 promotional video for his health care plan.

More recently, President Trump used the finger gun gesture in a May 2018 speech.

By all means - if you are consistent you should be calling for both Trump and Obama to be arrested.

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 answered the question

That you defend this zero tolerance bullshit is not surprising. No one was harmed by her actions, yet she is charged with a felony.

That is some fucked up logic there, considering the fact that two 13-year-old students in the same school district who, the previous month, brought actual guns to school in their backpacks and were charged with misdemeanors, a far less serious punishment than the felony charge levied against the young girl for wielding an imaginary finger gun.

Government is in the last resort the employment of armed men, of policemen, gendarmes, soldiers, prison guards, and hangmen.
The essential feature of government is the enforcement of its decrees by beating, killing, and imprisoning.
Those who are asking for more government interference are asking ultimately for more compulsion and less freedom.

Deckard  posted on  2019-11-28   3:13:21 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#3. To: nolu chan (#1)

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.

WTF??????

WHY would a teacher even allow that question to be answered?,It is tantamount to implanting the suggestion in the minds of people that young,and the teacher is the one that should be arrested.

In the entire history of the world,the only nations that had to build walls to keep their own citizens from leaving were those with leftist governments.

sneakypete  posted on  2019-11-28   10:27:48 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#4. To: Deckard (#2)

[NBC News, Oct 11, 2019] A spokesperson for the Johnson County District Attorney's Office said after reviewing the evidence the girl was charged with criminal threat, which is a felony offense.

A felony for pointing a finger?

NBC reported. If you disagree write them or your congressman a letter.

[NBC News, Oct 11, 2019] The hand gesture, which involves an individual using their hand to mimic an imaginary handgun, is commonly referred to as a “finger gun” and is widely seen throughout popular culture, in movies, TV shows, music videos, and on social media. Indeed, the finger gun gesture was even employed by President Obama in a humorous 2015 promotional video for his health care plan.

More recently, President Trump used the finger gun gesture in a May 2018 speech.

By all means - if you are consistent you should be calling for both Trump and Obama to be arrested.

You are consistent only in trying to attribute to me, the words written by NBC News.

Write a letter to the editor. Tell them that you were triggered by Obama's humorous 2015 promotional video for his health care plan. Seek Obama's arrest if you believe he communicated a threat.

[NBC News, Oct 11, 2019] 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 answered the question

That you defend this zero tolerance bullshit is not surprising. No one was harmed by her actions, yet she is charged with a felony.

That is some fucked up logic there, considering the fact that two 13-year-old students in the same school district who, the previous month, brought actual guns to school in their backpacks and were charged with misdemeanors, a far less serious punishment than the felony charge levied against the young girl for wielding an imaginary finger gun.

No, you useless fucktard. I did not "defend this zero tolerance bullshit."

As to the logical idiocy of your assertion that, No one was harmed by her actions, yet she is charged with a felony," if I were to load Dirty Harry's .357 magnum hand held cannon and aim it at your head, no one would be harmed.

Her alleged crime was communicating a threat.

https://codes.findlaw.com/ks/chapter-21-crimes-and-punishments/ks-st-sect-21-5415.html

Kansas Statutes Chapter 21. Crimes and Punishments § 21-5415. Criminal threat; aggravated criminal threat

(a) A criminal threat is any threat to:

(1) Commit violence communicated with intent to place another in fear, or to cause the evacuation, lock down or disruption in regular, ongoing activities of any building, place of assembly or facility of transportation, or in reckless disregard of the risk of causing such fear or evacuation, lock down or disruption in regular, ongoing activities;

(2) adulterate or contaminate any food, raw agricultural commodity, beverage, drug, animal feed, plant or public water supply; ?or

(3) expose any animal in this state to any contagious or infectious disease.

(b) Aggravated criminal threat is the commission of a criminal threat, as defined in subsection (a), when a public, commercial or industrial building, place of assembly or facility of transportation is evacuated, locked down or disrupted as to regular, ongoing activities as a result of the threat.

(c)(1) A criminal threat is a severity level 9, person felony.

(2) Aggravated criminal threat is a severity level 5, person felony.

(d) As used in this section, “threat” includes any statement that one has committed any action described by subsection (a).

However,

http://www.kscourts.org/Cases-and-Opinions/opinions/SupCt/2019/20191025/115387.pdf

IN THE SUPREME COURT OFTHE STATE OF KANSAS

No. 115,387

STATE OF KANSAS, Appellee,
v.
TIMOTHY C. BOETTGER, Appellant.

SYLLABUS BY THE COURT

1. The freedom of speech referred to in the First Amendment to the United States Constitution does not include a freedom to disregard restrictions on certain well-defined and narrowly limited categories of speech that the government may regulate and, in some circumstances, punish. A true threat falls within one category of speech the government may punish.

2. True threats encompass those statements where the speaker means to communicate a serious expression of an intent to commit an act of unlawful violence to a particular individual or group of individuals. The speaker need not intend to commit violence.

3. The portion of K.S.A. 2018 Supp. 21-5415(a)(1) allowing for a conviction if a threat of violence is made in reckless disregard for causing fear is unconstitutionally overbroad because it punishes conduct that may be constitutionally protected under some circumstances.

[...]

I appears the girl was not charged with a felony, but with a non-crime, as the applicable statute was struck down by the Kansas Supreme Court as unconstitutional. However, I would never expect you, or your chosen sources, to check and include that in their mutterings.

Indeed, the Whitehead article you posted is from November 15, 2019 and proclaims,

The Rutherford Institute is demanding that a Kansas City area school district seek the exoneration of a middle school student who pointed an imaginary “finger gun” at classmates, resulting in her being handcuffed, arrested, charged with a felony for threatening a mass shooting, and criminally prosecuted.

As the incident was on 18 September 2019, and the law was struck down on 25 October 2019, when did the fantasy criminal prosecution take place? Moreover, when will John Whitehead and the Rutherford Institute find out about Kansas v Boettger?

My words in my #1, in their entirety, were:

Additional context: Another student asked her who she would shoot. Someone who felt threatened reported the matter via an anti-bullying portal. A school spokesman said the arrest was a poilce decision.

Where you find all your strawman bullshit is not clear. I must try your form of argument some day.

The additional context, which your chosen author chose to omit in order to deliberately mislead the reader is:

  • The teacher did not ask the question.

  • There is no indication the teacher ever heard the question.

  • There is no indication that the teacher saw the finger gun.

  • The question was not part of a class discussion.

  • The question was asked by a misbehaving student.

  • The question was addressed to another misbehaving student.

  • The circumstances indicate the question was likely asked at a whisper.

  • A third person perceived a threat.

  • There is no indication the third person ever heard a word of the conversation.

  • Said third person called a bullying hotline and reported the perceived threat.

Zero tolerance policies arose because teachers using their own discretion resulted in lawsuits for discrimination. Strictly enforced zero tolerance cannot be discrimination. Everyone gets treated equally, even if removing teacher discretion is stupid.

A teacher imposing just about any form of discipline on a snowflake yute is likewise prone to a lawsuit. Thus the presence of an on duty police officer to effect an arrest to remove little Johnny from the classroom. In order not to trigger any of the precious snowflakes, the on duty police officer is called the innocuous sounding School Resource Officer.

Why do anarchists, such as yourself, support such lawsuits?

Why do anarchists, such as yourself, support removing teacher authority to enforce order in the classrooms?

Why do anarchists, such as yourself, support anarchy in the classrooms?

Why do anarchists, such as yourself, support anarchy in the classroom which necessitates the presence of an on duty police officer with the power to arrest?

Why do anarchists, such as yourself, support the efforts of Dumbass #1 and Dumbass #2 to disrupt class and interfere with the efforts of those who actually want to learn?

Why do anarchists, such as yourself, ludicrously misinterpret the Second Amendment to profess a supposed right to keep and bear nuclear weapons?

nolu chan  posted on  2019-11-30   15:41:19 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#5. To: sneakypete (#3)

#3. To: nolu chan (#1)

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.

WTF??????

WHY would a teacher even allow that question to be answered?,It is tantamount to implanting the suggestion in the minds of people that young,and the teacher is the one that should be arrested.

I know you did not intend to address that to me.

Your entire quote, which I have highlighted in blue font, and underlined a significant part, came from the John Whitehead article posted by Deckard. Your comments should be addressed to Deckard.

If you intended to respond to something Deckard said in his #2, it should have quoted something from #2 and responded to Deckard.

A misbehaving young girl was asked a question by another misbehaving student, not by a teacher, and not as part of a class discussion.

My full and complete comment in response was, "Additional context: Another student asked her who she would shoot. Someone who felt threatened reported the matter via an anti-bullying portal. A school spokesman said the arrest was a po[li]ce decision."

THAT was the entirety of MY words. I added two other MSM articles to provide context to the Whitehead article posted by Deckard.

The article comment is not exactly false, but it deliberately intended to mislead the reader by omission. For example, it misled you, or you would not be asking "WHY would a teacher even allow that question to be answered?"

By omission, the article seeks to dupe the reader into believing the teacher was somehow part of all this. You assumed, as the article author intended by omission, that the teacher was aware of and allowed this to happen. There is no indication that the teacher was even aware of the question or answer, or finger gun.

The female students, DUMBASS #1 and DUMBASS #2, instead of paying attention in class, engaged in their own private conversation. DUMBASS #1 asked DUMBASS #2 if she could kill just five members of the class, who would they be? DUMBASS #2 responded to DUMBASS #1 by using her finger gun to "shoot" her selected "victims," the fifth "victim" being herself. This was not a class discussion. This was two misbehaving students whose conversation was likely in a whisper and only heard, if at all, by other students very near to them.

Another student observed the finger gun gesture and perceived a threat. The person who perceived a threat may not have heard a word of the conversation before seeing the finger gun pointed at his or her head. That student called a bullying hotline number. "Overland Park police said in an email they were made aware of the threat through the school district's online reporting portal." The School Resource Officer (an on duty police officer) made the decision to arrest the misbehaving yute.

Zero tolerance policies arose because teachers using their own discretion resulted in lawsuits for discrimination. Strictly enforced zero tolerance cannot be discrimination. Everyone gets treated equally, even if removing teacher discretion is stupid.

A teacher imposing just about any form of discipline on a snowflake yute is likewise prone to a lawsuit. Thus the presence of an on duty police officer to effect an arrest to remove little Johnny from the classroom. In order not to trigger any of the precious snowflakes, the on duty police officer is called the innocuous sounding School Resource Officer.

The Kansas Statute regarding Communicating a Threat was struck down as unconstitutional the month before the thread article was published.

nolu chan  posted on  2019-11-30   15:48:23 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#6. To: nolu chan (#5)

First of all,YOU were the one that posted it here,so I was right to reply to your post.

Secondly,than you for clearing it up. As you wrote,what was initially posted made it seem like the teacher "set the scene".

In the entire history of the world,the only nations that had to build walls to keep their own citizens from leaving were those with leftist governments.

sneakypete  posted on  2019-11-30   22:00:23 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


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