Overland Park, KS — A 12-year-old girl has recently found herself entangled within the police state after she made a poor, but innocent decision to shape her fingers like a gun and point them at students. Her case is now highlighting a serious problem within America’s educational system and the police state.
Last month, a classmate jokingly asked the 12-year-old girl if she could kill five people in the class, who would they be. The girl then reportedly shaped her fingers like a gun, pointed at four other students before pretending to shoot herself.
Yes, we understand that threatening to kill people is not okay. We also understand today’s climate of mass shootings and having to deal with potential threats to schools. Any time a child or adult alike threatens to harm others, this should be taken seriously. But is that really what happened with this 12-year-old girl? Her mother, Vanessa McCaron says although what her daughter did was dumb, the reaction from police and the school was over the top. She also says her daughter is a victim of bullying.
“I think that this is something that probably could have been handled in the principal’s office and got completely out of hand,” said Jon Cavanaugh, the girl’s grandfather in California, where the girl is now living. He said his granddaughter has no access to a real gun and she had no intent of harming anyone, according to the Kansas City Star. “She was just mouthing off,” he said.
Instead of realizing that the girl simply made a poor decision and disciplining her within the school, the police were called. She was then handcuffed, arrested, and booked into jail for felony threatening.
School resource officer Dana Harrison, who is an employee of the police department, handcuffed her outside the building and placed her in a police car before she was driven to a juvenile detention facility, the Kansas City Star reports.
McCaron said she begged the officer not to arrest her daughter but it had no effect.
“He said, ‘I will press charges against anyone who I think has broken the law,’” said McCaron. “He had such a great opportunity to use his badge to change something in a child, but he chose not to,” she added. “I think this is an insane abuse of power.”
McCaron told the paper that her daughter is actually an advocate for gun control and is anti-gun.
“She is absolutely anti-guns,” she said. “She posts about gun control on Facebook. We have no guns in our home.”
“She is a child. She is kind. She’s loving. She’s shy. She is a precocious kid who is passionate about gun control, human rights and cats. That’s what she cares about.”
McCaron also told the paper that her daughter has been bullied at school and they school refused to act.
McCaron said that last year, a student punched her daughter in the face on the school bus. She says her daughter told the school about it, but they did nothing and the bullying continued. She was picked on “to the point where one day she was found in the corner of the school lunchroom sobbing,” said her mother.
“She is having a really hard time talking about it,” McCaron said. “She feels like rules were made to protect people and wants to know why the rules — against bullying — failed to protect her.”
Highlighting the insanity of the situation is the fact that this girl is facing a felony for her fingers while two other kids who literally brought actual real guns to school are only facing misdemeanors.
As the Star reports, last month in the Shawnee Mission district, two 13-year-old students at Hocker Grove Middle School showed up with guns — the real thing — found stashed in their backpacks. Both were charged as juveniles in possession of a firearm, a misdemeanor that carries a penalty of up to one year in jail, a fine of up to $2,500 or both.
“OUTRAGEOUS,“ tweeted Jo Ella Hoye, a chapter leader for Moms Demand Action for Guns Sense in America. “Bringing a GUN on campus is a misdemeanor? But threatening someone with few half-cocked fingers is a felony with potentially life-altering consequences?”
For pointing her finger at kids in her class, this poor girl may now spend her early teenage years behind bars. A travesty indeed.
In the meantime, however, a school police officer who was found guilty of sexually assaulting several children at a school he was tasked with protecting, will do less than a year in jail.