Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Franklin Student Arrested for BB gun at school

Quick action on the part of a witness and a police officer may have averted a real tragedy at Franklin high school yesterday.   From the Seattle Times:


A 14-year-old Franklin High School student was arrested yesterday after he brought a BB pistol to school, Seattle police said.

Just after 9 a.m., a witness flagged down a Seattle police officer in the 3000 block of Mount Baker Boulevard and told the officer he just saw a young boy brandish what appeared to be a handgun. The witness pointed out the boy, who was walking up a staircase to Franklin.

The officer used his patrol car’s PA system and ordered the boy to stop. Instead, the boy ran into the school, police said. The officer chased after him, but lost him in the school. 

Did the officer give up?  Nope, he looked through yearbooks until he found the boy and arrested him.  The student had stashed the gun in a trash can.  He was booked into juvenile services.

I give so much credit to the witness who actually took the time to let someone know about what he saw and the officer who followed through. 

17 comments:

Anonymous said...

While guns have no place in school, what kind of "real tragedy" was the kid going to cause with a BB gun? A little perspective would go a long way in this case.

Signed: Let's focus on real issues

Anonymous said...

I have a friend who has had a glass eye since he was 15...the result of a BB gun—honest! I does happen and they can cause serious harm.

Perhaps if you lived in the southend and were constantly getting the news of brutal muggings and now the death of Danny Vega you would have a different perspective on a teen with anything that looked like a very real gun.

We've had teens shoot at people on busses (from the street), beat and rob other teens on their way home from light rail stations and more—9 brutal robberies in the last 8 weeks. Even the local news is reporting these events (not something they usually do).

Yes, this time it was a BB gun—but it could just have easily been real, so I think erring on the side of caution is the optimum response.

SolvayGirl

Anonymous said...

A BB gun is indeed a real threat. First of all, they look like real guns so the police will often send out a swat team endangering everyone. (This happened at John Hay a few weeks ago too, but it didn't seem to make it into the blogosphere.) Secondly, a BB gun is indeed dangerous and has no place in a school. Bringing one shows depraved indifference to the school and to classmates. It is a real isue.

reader

Melissa Westbrook said...

Real issues, I wrote this elsewhere...what!?!

You can hurt someone with a BB gun. I grew up in a rural area and yes, you can do a fair amount of damage.

You can cause a panic in school. You really think that it's okay for our children to have heard about school shootings and to experience the fear that engenders? That's okay with you?

And, if the police had confronted the kid and he got confused and didn't put it down, they would have shot him dead.

No tragedies there.

dj said...

A bb gun can cause real damage. So can (and does, statistically) getting prosecuted and passed through juvenile justice or criminal justice while a teenager. Statistically, this kid will probably now be more likely to commit crimes as an adult. Huzzah for all of us.

Anonymous said...

Statistically, the kid was probably alread well on his way to committing crimes as an adult if he hasn't already committed one. And, he was probably well on his way to committing crimes that very day in the school. Why else would you bring a gun to school - BB or otherwise? Yes, it's too bad people, anybody, have to be arrested. Yes, it's too bad there isn't better outcomes for people who do wind up in jail. But this is the type of event we have jails for.

reader

dj said...

No, this is the kind of thing we have jails for in the modern era when we in the US have the highest incarceration rate in the world and use jail and prison as "solutions" for every social problem. It's not some sort of natural thing, even in the context of American history. This is a high school student. Surely we can come up with better interventions than those that are shown to actually increase recidivism.

Melissa Westbrook said...

Agreed DJ. This kid needs help and jail isn't it. (That said, he needs a Scared Straight moment.)

Anonymous said...

You can cause a panic in school. You really think that it's okay for our children to have heard about school shootings and to experience the fear that engenders? That's okay with you?

And, if the police had confronted the kid and he got confused and didn't put it down, they would have shot him dead.


Excellent points Melissa, I had not even considered the possibility of a school shooting.

And I think we all agree that jail for juveniles is not necessarily the answer, but I believe the witness (note, NOT the school) that called the police was acting in the best interest of everyone in the surrounding area—students, staff, pedestrians, people waiting for the bus—except perhaps the kid with the gun.

This was not a 10-yr-old who wanted to proudly show off his new BB gun. This was a kid who lives in an area where guns are common and sometimes deadly accessories. Our students must NOT get the idea that it is OK to bring a gun of any kind to school.

SolvayGirl

emeraldkity said...

So can (and does, statistically) getting prosecuted and passed through juvenile justice or criminal justice while a teenager

So maybe he should have attended Garfield?

Jan said...

emeraldkity -- I am missing your point. Could you elaborate?

Jan said...

I agree that the witness did the right thing by alerting authorities -- no problem with the idea that someone seeing something like that will have no clue whether the gun is real (and if so, loaded or not), a bb gun, an airsoft gun, a squirt gun painted black, etc.

I totally concur with dj (and Melissa, I think) that an arrest/jail/juvie record here is "probably " not warranted. Kids are not adults. They are kids. we are "raising" them -- whether as parents, teachers, society at large, whatever. Now, that is not to say that "kids" cannot, and do not, sometimes do adult-sized damage -- so I am not suggesting that we ignore what they do. But while logic suggests to me that by middle school, all kids should reasonably know that you cant take a bb gun to school -- and thus to infer that this kid was a baddie, with bad intentions -- I think what is required here is a whole lot of question-asking. If I find out that the gun was loaded with bbs and that the kid in fact intended to walk into his sixth period english class and shoot some other child -- or the teacher -- I really have no problem with a juvenile arrest. If on the other hand, he brought it for some silly video they were working on in social studies, or brought it to school empty because he was mugged yesteray on the way home and thought that having it might "scare" the neighborhood baddies into leaving him alone today -- or because a friend wanted to see it and he just "didn't think" -- well, then -- no. NOW he needs a long conversation about the rules, why they are there, what MIGHT have happened to him if, when the police arrived, they thought he had a loaded gun (a wood carving knife cost John Williams his life in far less extreme circumstances). Arrest/expulsion etc. is more than useless in such cases -- it is -- as dj points out --potentially extremely harmful.

Here is hoping that the "adults in charge" (parents, school administrators, police) figure out how to handle this one right.

emeraldkity said...

emeraldkity -- I am missing your point. Could you elaborate?

Sorry it was in reference to the recent robberies in the restrooms of Garfield ( possibly armed robberies). While the principal apparently arranged for some of the goods to be returned to the students, those responsible have not been arrested or even apparently suspended.

Anonymous said...

As always, the Simpsons says it best:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qh2sWSVRrmo

Anonymous said...

Melissa...I was trying to follow up on this, but can't find the original article on the Seattle Times website. That makes me really curious. Why did they remove the story? I haven't seen a peep about this anywhere else.

Solvay Girl

Anonymous said...

in reference to the recent robberies in the restrooms of Garfield ( possibly armed robberies). While the principal apparently arranged for some of the goods to be returned to the students, those responsible have not been arrested or even apparently suspended.

Not true. It took a few days, but someone was identified, and has been removed from school.

-a.nony.mouse

daisy said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.