Below is a letter I just sent to The Des Moines Register:
To the editor,
Please consider the following for inclusion in your letters section:
You reported that a Johnston middle school student brought a BB gun to school. (“Student found with BB gun at middle school in Johnston”, 2/11/21) You reported that the school resource officer worked with administrators, “…to secure the student in an isolated area and confiscate the weapon.”, and that, “…the incident is a criminal investigation…” In a Facebook post, the Police Chief stated they will, “…seek to provide the necessary services to the young persons involved,”
This is a good example of over-policing in our schools. When a police officer is on duty at a school they must become involved, and a mistake by a student becomes a criminal investigation. In simpler times the Principal or Advisor would take away the BB gun and call the parents in. The student might be suspended for a few days. The police and media would not be called. All students would be reminded about the school policy against bringing a BB gun or any other “weapon” to school. The kid would never do it again. Let’s just hope that the police and school administrators handle this situation reasonably with the students involved.