I’ve constantly pushed education about firearms over blind fear because blind fear tends to make people make stupid decisions. Case in point, Loveland High School in Loveland, Colorado is currently proving me correct.
According to the Second Amendment Group “Rally for Our Rights,” Justine Myers picked up her 16-year-old son Nate early from school in order to take him to go target shooting as a way to bond with her son.
Nat had apparently posted a couple of videos from his cell phone to social media displaying the guns he was going to be shooting with, and his mother instructing him while he fired them at the range.
After the two had come home from the range, police arrived at their door, having gotten reports that Nate was a potential threat due to his posting firearms online.
After viewing the videos, police determined that the Myers family had done nothing illegal, were using legally owned firearms, and that Nate was not a threat to anyone. As “Rally for Our Rights” states, that should have been the end of it, but things only went downhill from there.
On Wednesday morning, Myers woke up to a voicemail from her son’s high school saying that he would not be allowed to return to school as he had been deemed a threat:
The voicemail informed Justine that a report had come in claiming Nate was a threat to the school and he was not allowed to return until further notice. The report presumably came through Safe 2 Tell. There are reports that a school wide email was also sent to parents about the “threat”. Justine immediately contacted the school assuming she could easily clear things up, especially since the police had already assessed the situation and realized no one had done anything wrong or made any threats. She was wrong. The school not only refused to provide her with more information about the “threat”, but they refused to provide Nate with schoolwork so he doesn’t get behind.
She was told that she could attend a “threat assessment hearing” on Thursday morning with seven school officials in attendance so that she can “make their case” for her son’s innocence.
Legal experts told “Rally for Our Rights” that the school is currently within legal bounds to do this, and while I can respect legality, I can’t respect misplaced panic.
The police cleared Nate of being a threat and everything the Myers family was doing was completely legal. Loveland high is essentially punishing the Myers family for the act of doing nothing wrong based on the false need to feel overly cautious. Erring on the side of caution is one thing, but the cultural assumption that people who enjoy shooting firearms are possible threats that should be taken seriously is going to make everyone scared of a majority of America.
What bothers me most is that this seems to me like more than just precaution.
The school should be good with simply calling the police and asking for a report about what happened. Upon the police telling them that there is nothing to worry about, the case should have been done. That it wasn’t says there’s more here than just school officials wanting to make sure everything is fine.
It comes off more as a message, or at least, that’s what the optics seem like. It’s clear that a mother and son weren’t doing anything to be worried about, and even the police agree. Maintaining that there needs to be a “threat assessment” after that would definitely put other parents of the mind that any mention of firearms or guns in public is a bad idea.
Silence about practicing and standing up for your Second Amendment right becomes a risky venture.
Maybe that’s the intent of the school officials, or maybe it’s not, but that’s the effect it’s going to have regardless.