This fall, a sixth-grader at Bret Harte Middle School in Oakland’s Laurel District was apparently taken to the emergency room after another student shot him in the face with a BB gun while they were in class.
The boy was not seriously hurt, but he could have been. (The girl who injured him was suspended and will possibly face expulsion.)
Beverly Rothenberg, Hillcrest’s principal, said the school held two assemblies on the subject. One parent, who is a police officer in San Francisco, told the kids that some criminals are painting real guns to look like toys, and that police are on guard against any kind of firearm, whether it’s real or imitation, Rothenberg said.
“People need to know and students need to know that toy guys and imitation firearms are dangerous,” she added.
Bret Harte’s principal, Teresa Williams, sent home a letter Friday about what happened and how it was addressed. Williams said the school is creating a system for students to anonymously report the presence of real or imitation weapons — or anything else that makes them uncomfortable.
In fact, Davis said, she knows of one student who put one on his Christmas list afterward. (A boy after Ralphie‘s own heart. Doesn’t he know he’ll shoot his eye out?)
Do you think kids and parents are aware of the risks associated with toy guns, and bringing them to school? How often does this happen, in spite of the rules, and do kids feel comfortable reporting it? How should school principals handle the situation?
images, from top to bottom, by macwagon and Michael Vance 1’s sites at flickr.com/creativecommons