Again: What is the SPS Policy on Anything that Looks Like a Gun?
From the story:
In an April 21 meeting with a school staff member, in which the officer asked why she was not contacted and the incident was not reported, the staff member did not have an answer, according to a police incident report. About 15 minutes later, the staff member "stated to me it wasn't reported because 'it was a clear, plastic gun and not used with malice,'" School Emphasis Officer Erin Rodriguez wrote in the report.
After speaking to the witnesses and girl who was hit, Rodriguez contacted the school security staff told about the incident April 12, "and inquired why the incident wasn't reported to 911," Rodriguez wrote. "She stated because 'it was a toy gun, with orange on the end. The kind you get at a .99 cent store. We verified it was plastic."
Unfortunately, it turns out the gun was not clear plastic; it was black with an orange tip (likely an Airsoft gun) and the tip had been colored black with a marker. Airsoft guns shot plastic pellets unlike BB guns which shoot steel pellets. But if you were to aim at someone's face, you could easily hurt them. The pellets can sting. And, Airsoft guns are not 99 cent toys.
During one of Rodriguez's interviews, a student told the officer that on April 9, she saw at least one of the students later suspended with the toy gun.
"I was scared because I didn't know if it was real," she said, according to the report.
One boy pointed the gun at her back and tried to shoot her. When nothing happened, she realized it was a fake gun. He then tried to shoot two others in the butt, she told police. The incident was reported to her counselor and school security April 12.
Another girl, who said she initially didn't know if the gun was real, was shot in the right elbow April 9 about 15 minutes after school dismissed. At least one other student was fired at, witnesses told police.
But Seattle Police spokeswoman Renee Witt, who reviewed the incident report, said something of the incident's nature "absolutely" should have been reported to the school emphasis officer.
So why have these officers if we don't make use of them? They know how to handle the kids and the situation better than the school and they are right there on campus. Again we see SPS staff substituting their judgment instead of using resources.
Again, there's this perception that maybe staff don't want their intervention numbers up. We just don't know but what is clear is that the district continues to have a public relations problem. To the public, it's "oh yes, we have policies in place and officers on campus at some schools who work with staff". The reality is that is seems like a free-for-all and someday that may be a big problem for the district.