Philadelphia School Searches Elementary Student After Finding Paper Gun

20653505_BG1s-FIFTH-GRADER-PAPER-GUN-largeWe have been discussing the steady stream of absurd actions taken by school officials under “zero tolerance” policies. For a prior column, click here. The Philadelphia school district is adding its name to this ignoble list after standing by the decision to not only scold but to search a 5th grade student after Melody Valentin was found in possession of a paper gun.

The district is actually commending the actions of officials in searching Valentin, saying that she told classmates that she had a handgun. The family and girl deny she ever said that she had a handgun. Instead, she said that she realized that she had the cutout gun and put it on the desk. Her grandfather had given it to her the previous day. It was a classmate who saw the paper cutout and told a teacher.

The paper gun above does not exactly create a reasonable suspicion that a fully loaded block is concealed in the girl’s backpack. However, she is fortunate not to have been suspended or expelled. Even a finger gun is enough of an arsenal to lead to such discipline judging from past cases.

Source: Fox

25 thoughts on “Philadelphia School Searches Elementary Student After Finding Paper Gun”

  1. Bronx police arrested a seven-year-old boy, put him in handcuffs and held him in custody for ten hours after a playground fight over $5, according to a $250 million claim brought by the child’s family against the city and the NYPD. Officers allegedly arrived at the Bronx public school on Dec. 4 in the morning and handcuffed and held Wilson Reyes in a room there for four hours before taking him to the station house for another six hours of interrogation and verbal abuse, the suit alleges.

    The New York Post reports that Reyes’ mother found him at the police precinct, “panicked” and “seated in a shabby chair with his left wrist cuffed to the wall.”

    The incident apparently began when Reyes’ was falsely accused by another child of stealing $5, provoking a scuffle. Children seven to 17-years-old can be tried as juveniles and Reyes originally faced a robbery charge before another child admitted to taking the money and charges against the seven-year-old were dropped. But Reyes’ family a seeking damages.

    “I never imagined the cops could do that to a child. We’re traumatized,” his mother, Frances Mendez told The New York Post. “It’s unfathomable, what the police did. The whole thing sounds so stupid. They were interrogating him like he was a hardened criminal,” said Mendez’s attorney, Jack Yanowitz.

    The city has responded to the claims saying Mendez’s account is “grossly untrue” and that “the child was held in the precinct… less than half of the time mentioned” — which still means a seven-year-old was held for well over four hours over by police.”

    Do they have special sized handcuffs for 7 year olds? Or do they just use the zip ties?

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