Student/Family Violated Over Facebook Mention of "Gun"


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Hurricane
March 8, 2012, 09:12 PM
A boy that doesn't even own a gun was investigated and many students didn't turn up to school when a girl was overheard making an offhand comment "He's the type that would bring a gun to school" to someone else. The rumor spread like wildfire in school and on facebook with many students and parents condemning the boy, and also his parents for not raising him better.

http://usnews.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2012/03/08/10604539-when-rumor-the-internet-and-school-violence-fears-collide

I can understand there being some definite concern with the safety and well-being of students given the recent shooting, but I cannot believe the knee-jerk reaction and almost "Salem Witch Trial"-esque episode that ensued. I don't know. Just the comments alone after the story made me want to hurl.

It concerns me even more that a gun didn't even exist. It was all word of mouth.

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wannabeagunsmith
March 8, 2012, 10:20 PM
Wow. Just wow.

MachIVshooter
March 8, 2012, 10:34 PM
It least there's this:

Tracy said school officials don’t know how the girl’s initial comment was twisted by others into an explicit threat, but indicated the district would pursue charges – if the source can be determined – to send a clear message.

Hopefully they're able to determine the primary players and send that message.

Very few of us had truly it easy in high school, but I can't imagine this kind of torment.

larry_minn
March 8, 2012, 11:30 PM
What if this kid (or his parents) had firearms? Would the Police have taken them? Hauled the kid off in handcuffs? Is the "lesson" to learn "If you don't have any guns when they accuse you of THINKING of doing something you won't get arrested"

whalerman
March 8, 2012, 11:48 PM
Doesn't surprise me a bit. This is where we are right now. Imagine where we will be in four years. People have to get involved and respond to ignorance and emotional bs. The latest circus act going on up here (NY) is bullying. One local school that graduates 14, yes 14 in their senior class, just got a state grant of $600,000 to fight bullying. Money in the wind.

Kingofthehill
March 9, 2012, 12:03 AM
I lost a good job because on a public online forum like this I mentioned I got a new job. I screwed up and mentioned the company's name. Someone on the forum suggested I celebrate the new job by getting the new range officer at the time. I go a call a fe days later telling me my name flagged their ackground search online with the word gun in use with the company name.

Talk about frustrating. Guess you can't be a target shooter and work for them

Dmitri Popov
March 9, 2012, 12:09 AM
This is what happens when people think out of fear instead of reason.
But frankly, anymore, thats just SOP.

Hardtarget
March 9, 2012, 12:16 AM
Its really funny how things are different one place and another. My cousin works at a place where the company upper management recieves firearms and ammo shipments weekly!One has a FFL and one has C&R so you never know what is going to show up! He said its funny to see the "show and tell" after a delivery. :D

Mark

Dmitri Popov
March 9, 2012, 02:07 AM
^^^
Thats how my old work was, most days it was basically a mini gun show, lol.
It was a small town hardware store, not only did employs trade back and forth, customers would bring in guns and knives all the time. It was actually really nice, lol.

blarby
March 9, 2012, 02:37 AM
What if this kid (or his parents) had firearms? Would the Police have taken them? Hauled the kid off in handcuffs?

I think thats probably the only question really worth THR discussion.

I would like to know, honestly.

Given that it was later ( post-search) discovered to be completely false... That would further complicate an seizure that would have occurred.

One of our handy legal high-roaders might have some input there.

Maybe this thread would be better for legal ?

Sav .250
March 9, 2012, 07:24 AM
A sign of the times!

Double Naught Spy
March 9, 2012, 10:28 AM
What if this kid (or his parents) had firearms? Would the Police have taken them? Hauled the kid off in handcuffs?

I think thats probably the only question really worth THR discussion.

What, you mean like what happened to the kid and his family because of paranoid rumormongering that we should be discussing the worst case scenario of what would have happened had they owned guns?

Man, we really do have some double standards. Ever notice how folks and even gun folks get bent out of shape before something like a school or mass shooting because there were people who suspected it would occur, maybe some that had even expressed that the shooter was unable, and even some who had been told by the shooter of his plans, but we criticize those people for not doing anything to stop the shooter before the shooting? All those warning signs and nobody did anything to stop the shootings before it happened because they either didn't recognize the warning signs or failed to act on them.

So here we have a case of there being warning signs, but we are bent out of shape because the police did their job and went and talked to the family, asked for and were granted permission for a search.


http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=20061&highlight=school+warning+sign
http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=625558&page=2&highlight=loughner
http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=47238&highlight=columbine+warning+signs


A boy that doesn't even own a gun was investigated ...

It concerns me even more that a gun didn't even exist.

Why does this concern you? You think that just because a person doesn't own a gun that they can't become mass shooters? You do realize that it is not uncommon for school (and some other) shooters to have stolen the guns used in the shooting or otherwise obtained them illegally, don't you?
For example from just a couple of weeks ago...
http://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory/teen-appears-court-ohio-school-shooting-15814225
Others...
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heath_High_School_shooting
http://www.khou.com/home/Ross-Elementary-shooting-involved-Stolen-Gun-121540264.html
http://www.publicschoolreview.com/school_ov/school_id/19425

Well, I guess the police other officials are darned if they do and darned if they don't. They get criticized when the system breaks down and rumors of pending shootings exist, but nobody acts on them and a bunch of people get hurt. So when rumors come about as in this case and the school officials and police looked into the matter, we are critical of them for having the audacity to do so. Not only that, we have folks like larry and blarby posting above who want to try to make this some civil rights issue as if the police would defacto arrest the student if the parents had guns on the home.

MachIVshooter
March 9, 2012, 10:50 AM
Man, we really do have some double standards. Ever notice how folks and even gun folks get bent out of shape before something like a school or mass shooting because there were people who suspected it would occur, maybe some that had even expressed that the shooter was unable, and even some who had been told by the shooter of his plans, but we criticize those people for not doing anything to stop the shooter before the shooting? All those warning signs and nobody did anything to stop the shootings before it happened because they either didn't recognize the warning signs or failed to act on them.

So here we have a case of there being warning signs, but we are bent out of shape because the police did their job and went and talked to the family, asked for and were granted permission for a search.


I don't see people jumping on the police here. They did their job, and they saw through the BS.

The issue is that there were none of these "warning signs" you speak of; The kid never made the threat in the first place. He and his family are suffering unjustly because a stupid little girl and a bunch of other gossip queens have vivid imaginations, big mouths and a total disregard for others.

It's not like a couple of concerned people went to the school administrator; This rumor exploded on a social networking site to where it included hundreds of people before anyone in a position to do anything even became aware.

What the perpetrators of this rumor did is illegal, and is actionable both criminally and civilly. The principles could find themselves owing thousands in a civil case of defamation. And I hope they do. It seems that many people don't understand that untrue and derogatory things written on facebook or other social sites constitute libel.


I lost a good job because on a public online forum like this I mentioned I got a new job. I screwed up and mentioned the company's name. Someone on the forum suggested I celebrate the new job by getting the new range officer at the time. I go a call a fe days later telling me my name flagged their ackground search online with the word gun in use with the company name.

Something missing here. It would be prejudicial (illegal) for a company to fire a person for engaging in perfectly legal activities on his own time, unless that activity directly affects the person's performance at work (heavy drinking, for example) or directly negatively affects the company's reputation. I don't see how this qualifies. The only exception is your signature on a legal document that says you will not egage in this or that. Did you sign such a thing?

In some states (like mine), it is employment at will, and a company can fire a person for no reason at all. But they cannot fire someone for the wrong reason, or they risk being sued.

Sky
March 9, 2012, 11:02 AM
There will always be opportunities for misdiagnosis/understanding in a 'see something, say something world'. Feel sorry for all involved.

InkEd
March 9, 2012, 11:49 AM
(sigh) People genuinely wonder why I don't fool around with any of that Facebook, MySpace (is that still around?) or similar social(ist) networking sites?

I have REAL friends in the REAL world. I just don't understand the appeal of putting all your personal business on the Internet. Topic-related forums (like THR) make since because it's a group of enthusiasts discussing a hobby. Blogging about every aspect of your life seems a little overly self-involved to me. I just don't get it.

Onward Allusion
March 9, 2012, 12:07 PM
Hurricane
Student/Family Violated Over Facebook Mention of "Gun"

I thank the Big Guy upstairs that I am blessed enough to send my boys to a private Christian school and away from the political-correctness-gone-amok public school system. What happen to that kid and his family was utterly insane.

wannabeagunsmith
March 9, 2012, 12:59 PM
What if this kid (or his parents) had firearms? Would the Police have taken them? Hauled the kid off in handcuffs? Is the "lesson" to learn "If you don't have any guns when they accuse you of THINKING of doing something you won't get arrested"

That is what I was thinking too.

Certaindeaf
March 9, 2012, 01:15 PM
Sounds like a case of bullying. Hopefully the lad has the wisdom and support to know it for the pathetic weakness that it is.

Nushif
March 9, 2012, 01:45 PM
(sigh) People genuinely wonder why I don't fool around with any of that Facebook, MySpace (is that still around?) or similar social(ist) networking sites?

Well, if some political powerword is your main reason I would wonder, too.

mgmorden
March 9, 2012, 02:05 PM
Something missing here. It would be prejudicial (illegal) for a company to fire a person for engaging in perfectly legal activities on his own time, unless that activity directly affects the person's performance at work (heavy drinking, for example) or directly negatively affects the company's reputation. I don't see how this qualifies. The only exception is your signature on a legal document that says you will not egage in this or that. Did you sign such a thing?

Right to work states (which are becoming the norm) have no such requirements. Aside from a few federal protected items which one cannot discriminate on (namely race, creed, gender, or handicap), in a right to work state an employer can choose to employ, not employ, hire, or fire anyone at any time for any reason they see fit (or no reason at all).

Carl N. Brown
March 9, 2012, 02:38 PM
deedle deedle, deedle deedle, baba bop dum
Tonight's episode of Twilight Zone, "The Monsters are due on Maple Street"
"...the episode is often presented commercial-free as part of the Cable in the Classroom series in order to teach children about the dangers of prejudice and hysteria."--Wikipedia

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Monsters_Are_Due_on_Maple_Street

Certaindeaf
March 9, 2012, 02:53 PM
.the..
I think that's for the courts to decide.

jeepnik
March 9, 2012, 03:00 PM
Any word used to describe a firearm in school is now being taken the way saying "hijack" in an airport is taken. Innocent use of words act as triggers. As you know, it's illegal to talk about "hijacking" anything in an airport these days (sorta like yelling fire in a theater). I figure it won't be long before any talk of firearms is outlawed in schools.

Of course I don't know how they would teach US History without mentioning firearms. But with the way the PC police have "revised" history to fit their views, I figure they'll just skip the major wars (they already skip things like Korea) and heaven forbid they discuss the westward expansion.

Afelt.tech
March 9, 2012, 03:00 PM
That makes me sad for him. I had a similar childhood, and a somewhat similar experience. He should move back here to Michigan.

FIVETWOSEVEN
March 9, 2012, 03:08 PM
As I recall the Ohio school shooter said on Twitter that he was going to bring a gun to school. THAT should be investigated but rumors or saying that someone is the type of person to do that is not enough to warrant an investigation.

Tim37
March 9, 2012, 03:13 PM
i remember in Jr high some one accused me of somthing (drugs not a gun) i got pulled out of class searched my locker and backpack tossed and they wouldnt even tell me who said it. that was nearly 20 years ago i spent a week getting stocked by the school because someone accused me and i had nothing. so i really feel for the kid and his parents because of a bunch of teenage bs.

langenc
March 9, 2012, 11:46 PM
Couple weeks ago we had pres primary. A CPL holder decided to OC to the voting booth. He had voted and was exiting thru a school exit and got nailed by a school administrator. (Gun carry was entirely legal)

Cops called and he was banned forever from a bldg in that school district. I dont recall if he was hauled off or not.

He apparently cannot be banned from voting and the admin will have to 'bite the bullet', most likely.

Neverwinter
March 10, 2012, 10:15 AM
Cops called and he was banned forever from a bldg in that school district. I dont recall if he was hauled off or not.

He apparently cannot be banned from voting and the admin will have to 'bite the bullet', most likely.
There's a thing called an absentee ballot, where you can mail in your vote instead of going to the polling place. :rolleyes:


What the perpetrators of this rumor did is illegal, and is actionable both criminally and civilly. The principles could find themselves owing thousands in a civil case of defamation. And I hope they do. It seems that many people don't understand that untrue and derogatory things written on facebook or other social sites constitute libel.What they did was obliquely make false criminal accusations, and they shouldn't be let off the hook for that. If they had come forth immediately at the first sign of actual school and police action, that might have been reason for leniency but they didn't.

hso
March 10, 2012, 10:22 AM
“It was a rumor run wild … that’s what social media does these days,” Girard School District Superintendent James Tracy told msnbc.com on Wednesday. “Nothing was actually said. … It’s like that old post office game, you know, where you tell a secret and by the 12th person it’s totally different. Magnify that times literally … thousands of people on social media, it really gets messed up.”

It seems that the point at which "free speech" on the internet becomes slander was passed.

bottom shelf
March 10, 2012, 10:44 AM
From the article

Though the Internet is a good teaching tool that young people respond well to, it created a “real problem” in this instance, Tracy said.

<sigh> So guns are not the only inanimate objects that have a malicious mind of their own. Good to know.

MachIVshooter
March 10, 2012, 01:47 PM
So guns are not the only inanimate objects that have a malicious mind of their own. Good to know.

You're reading too much into that comment. I don't see anyone calling for the banning of internet or specifically social networking sites here, just mentioning that the way in which they are sometimes used can be problematic. The same can be said of most anything. Guns, cars, baseball bats, pencils. We all know that things used inappropriately can cause harm. Internet is no exception.

Ancap
March 10, 2012, 04:45 PM
I think I am just going to live on a sea stead until this fetid society collapses.

CmdrSlander
March 10, 2012, 10:43 PM
I think I am just going to live on a sea stead until this fetid society collapses.
I'm constructing a self-sufficient home in the Nevada high desert, inside a played out open pit mine, when society collapses all I have to do is turn off the elevator and retract the ladders:evil:. It runs on geothermal power with solar as a backup, and has a 150 yard shooting range off the back patio.

Anyway, what happened to that student is a disgrace, the girl who started is most at fault, but she will likely never be punished.

hermannr
March 10, 2012, 11:04 PM
As there was actual harm done by the slander..and because the one way to get the young lady's parent's attention, and tehreby the young lady's attention...I think they should be taken to civil court for slander. The dad taking off work because of this...that is expensive.

CmdrSlander
March 10, 2012, 11:31 PM
As there was actual harm done by the slander..and because the one way to get the young lady's parent's attention, and tehreby the young lady's attention...I think they should be taken to civil court for slander. The dad taking off work because of this...that is expensive.


What! What did I do! Oh wait....

Sky
March 11, 2012, 11:04 AM
http://www.cnn.com/2012/03/09/opinion/obeidallah-social-media/index.html

CNN article on key words that are monitored on the social networks. Not a big deal unless you want to be placed on a no fly list or some other form of protection for the masses......

HankB
March 11, 2012, 12:11 PM
Read the linked report in the original post . . . police said that they searched the house & the kid's room and found nothing.

One thing that seems to be missing in the report: mention of a valid search warrant. Did they just force their way in, or did they ask the homeowner for and receive permission to search?

Double Naught Spy
March 11, 2012, 12:31 PM
I don't see people jumping on the police here. They did their job, and they saw through the BS.

Sure they did, but the claim was that the family was violated and who violated them? Who was the claimed Salen Witch Hunt party that searched the home? Despite the police doing everything fairly appropriate, the "OMG what ifs" started about things such as "what if the police had found a gun in the house?"

So instead of some folks saying just like you did that they saw through it, they apparently want to keep the fear mongering violation alive by what iffing what didn't happen.

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