A 12-year-old girl was hauled from school in handcuffs and charged with a felony for allegedly pointing her fingers in the shape of a gun at classmates in Overland Park, Kansas.
The child was arrested on Sept. 18 after she, “unlawfully and feloniously communicated a threat to commit violence, with the intent to place another, in fear, or with the intent to cause the evacuation, lock down or disruption in regular, ongoing activities,” according to court documents reviewed by the Kansas City Star.
While school officials and authorities have reportedly declined to discuss the case, citing privacy laws, a source familiar with the course of events shared them with the Star.
“The person said that during a class discussion, another student asked the girl, if she could kill five people in the class, who would they be? In response, the girl allegedly pointed her finger pistol — like the ones many children use playing cops and robbers,” the Star reports.
“Because of that gesture, The Star was told, the girl was sent to Principal Jeremy McDonnell’s office, and the other students involved were also talked to. The school resource officer recommended that she be arrested, the source said. She was detained by police and later released to her mother.”
The child is now reportedly living with in California with her grandfather, Jon Cavanaugh, who says he is afraid for her future, as he has been advised she could face up to a year at a juvenile detention center if convicted.
“I think that this is something that probably could have been handled in the principal’s office and got completely out of hand,” Cavanaugh said. “She was just mouthing off.”
Cavanaugh says the child has no access to a real firearm and never intended to hurt anyone.
In 2013, a 7-year-old Baltimore boy made national headlines after he was suspended from school for allegedly chewing a pastry into the shape of a gun. A handful of similar incidents have played out since.
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