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US boy caged for drawing gun in class

Menace to society led away in cuffs

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An 11-year-old has been removed from his Elementary school in Oldsmar, US, after he drew a gun in the classroom, the St Petersburg Times Online reports. The school authorities, feeling that the boy posed a real and present danger to his schoolmates, alerted the campus police who restrained him "for his own safety."

The school has stated that the boy will not be charged, even though he apparently just went straight ahead, pulled out a pencil and sketched a gun in full view of his terrified peers. "There were some drawings that were confiscated by the teacher," confirmed principal David Schmitt.

It's clear that the school authorities take such "threats" very seriously indeed: "The typical procedure involves immediately notifying a campus police officer or a school resource officer, counselors and the student's parents to assess the threat and work with the child" said Nancy Zambito, a director of school operations for the school district.

"Depending on the severity of the threat," Zambito continued, "the outcome for the student can be a number of things ranging from disciplinary action by the school, such as suspension or expulsion, to being arrested or taken to a hospital under Florida's Baker Act, which allows for the involuntary commitment of people who threaten or attempt to hurt themselves or others."

Principal Schmitt concluded: "We just need to get it through kids' heads that there are certain things you don't say and there are certain things you don't draw."

Quite so. It is to be hoped that this miscreant youth has learnt his lesson. Quite what the school authorities would do in the event of students indulging in other serious juvenile activities - such as killing time or breaking wind - remains to be seen. A spell in the Army, perhaps? That should knock the murderous aggression out of 'em. ®

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You can read the whole sad story here.

Bootnote

Thanks to our education correspondent Steve Batham for spotting this madness.

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