Student Arrested without Parent’s Knowledge for Threatening Barney

I don’t know if Barney is still on air, but a story of a student arrested for claiming to have killed his neighbors pet dinosaur, brings him to mind.

Barney target

According to a local NBC affiliate,

A 16-year-old Summerville High School student says he was arrested Tuesday morning and suspended after writing about killing a dinosaur using a gun.

Alex Stone said he and his classmates were told in class to write a few sentences about themselves, and a “status” as if it was a Facebook page.

Stone said in his “status” he wrote a fictional story that involved the words “gun” and “take care of business.”

“I killed my neighbor’s pet dinosaur, and, then, in the next status I said I bought the gun to take care of the business,” Stone said.

I can see this kind of joke being against school rules. So if they required him to redo the assignment or even gave him a failing grade, this wouldn’t be news. But they turned him over to the cops who arrested him. The school never bothered to notify Stone’s mother while this was happening.

[See also, “School Doubles Down on Suspending Boy for Pop Tart Gnawed into Gun Shape.”]

Investigators say the teacher contacted school officials after seeing the message containing the words “gun” and “take care of business,” and police were then notified on Tuesday.

Summerville police officials say Stone’s bookbag and locker were searched on Tuesday, and a gun was not found.

According to Gray, Stone was suspended for the rest of the week. Gray says she is furious that the school did not contact her before her son was arrested.

[…]

According to police, when Stone was asked by school officials about the comment written on the assignment, he said it was a joke.

Summerville police officials say Stone was disruptive and was told that he was being detained for disturbing schools.

Stone was arrested and charged with disorderly conduct. District officials say the student has been suspended.

So one minor episode of boyish humor is criminalized. The school suspends him and the police arrest him for what he wrote on a paper.

Does this sound like the way we would raise children in a society where people had the right to bear arms?