“We’re going to take this kind of thing seriously, whether they’re joking or not”

January 14th, 2011 § 0 comments

Some kids drew a map of their school, and apparently decided to add possible bomb placements to the map. It was intended to be part of a game, and there was no evidence of any actual explosives. Rather than talking to them, and perhaps explaining to the 11 and 12 year olds that this might be construed as threatening when taken out of context, the school has decided to recommend that they are kicked out, and passed the case on to the Sheriff’s office, who charged four students with criminal conspiracy to commit terroristic threatening, a misdemeanour, and one student with felony terroristic threatening. Again, these kids made absolutely no threat – the teachers chose to interpret the map as such – yet one of them has been charged with a felony. The title of this post is not even paraphrased, it is what a spokesperson for the school district actually said.

Worst of all, Lauren Roberts, the district’s public information officer, has commented that she doesn’t think a felony charge is too harsh, even if it was meant as a fantasy game. People actually believe that 11 year olds deserve life altering criminal proceedings even though they did not cause any harm, did not make any threat, and had no negative intent whatsoever. Their ‘crime’ was to show slightly poor judgement in their choice of game. She even had the gall to say that “The safety of children is our first priority”, as if charging these children even though it was not a threat had any impact whatsoever on the safety of others. I honestly cannot adequately express my anger here – I’m too frustrated to even joke about this one.

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