It's undeniable that we are living in very scary times these days. Nothing is more frightening than the spate of school shootings that have rocked our country in recent years. Understandably, teachers, administrators, and police are on edge. So, needless to say, everyone went into high alert when a 911 call came in about a shooter at a Minnesota school this morning. It turned out to be a prank, but no one is laughing. The 12-year-old boy accused of making the call has been arrested and, though he's just a kid, he deserves a serious punishment for what he did.
In the wake of Columbine, Sandy Hook, and so many other instances of deadly school violence, this is nothing to fool around with. The caller said he was inside one of the school buildings and needed help because there was a shooter roaming the halls with an AK-47. He even claimed there had already been a couple of victims. Immediately, the school, which includes middle and high school students, went into lockdown mode.
When police got to the scene, they quickly determined that no one had been hurt and figured out which boy had made the call. (As of now, it's unclear how they narrowed it down to this particular kid.) Meanwhile, parents couldn't get to the school fast enough and students were let out by late morning. Shockingly, this isn't the first time something like this has happened there. A couple months before, a student was expelled after calling in a bomb threat.
It's just crazy to me that someone -- even a kid -- would do such a dangerous, callous thing. What's the motivation? To get out of a test? To avoid running into someone? Just for kicks? This kind of behavior should have a serious penalty and not just because it's morally wrong. It's also incredibly dangerous too. The police have no idea the situation they are walking into. They could have shot an innocent student or teacher suspected of being a gunman. And what about the emotional toll this fear and panic takes on the entire town. What started as some stupid joke could have ended in a terrible, terrible tragedy. So I think officials were completely justified in arresting that child. If there is any time to send a message about this kind of thing, it's now.
Do you think police overreacted by arresting this prankster?
Image via Conspirator/Flickr