A Kansas girl was arrested last month and charged with a felony for giving pistol fingers in class, local media reports.
The girl, a student at Westridge Middle School in Overland Park, was allegedly responding to a classmate’s question on if she could kill five people in the room who would they be?
With her fingers in the shape of a gun, the 12-year-old girl pointed to several students, a source familiar with the details of the incident told the Kansas City Star.
The student was sent to the principal’s office where a student resource officer with the Overland Park Police Department suggested that she be taken into custody. The girl was then hauled out in handcuffs.
The Johnson County District Attorney’s Office charged her with felony threatening.
Court documents filed on Sept. 18, state she “unlawfully and feloniously communicated a threat to commit violence, with the intent to place another, in fear, or with the intent to cause the evacuation, lock down or disruption in regular, ongoing activities …” or created just the risk of causing such fear, reports the Kansas City Star.
A spokesperson for the Shawnee Mission School District was adamant that although the gesture might violate the school’s policy on intimidation and bullying, the decision to place the girl under arrest came from the police department, not from school nor district officials.
“I want to be very clear: The arrest of this student was wholly unrelated to any district policy. It was a municipal police department decision, and our policies don’t impact police department decisions,” said spokesperson Dave Smith in an email to KSHB.com.
Meanwhile, the girl’s grandfather believes the entire incident has been blown out of proportion.
“I think that this is something that probably could have been handled in the principal’s office and got completely out of hand,” said Jon Cavanaugh, the student’s grandpa.
Cavanaugh said the girl does not have access to firearms nor does she want to harm anyone. “She was just mouthing off,” he explained.
It doesn’t appear that prosecutors are backing down, though. The student is scheduled to appear at the Juvenile Division of the District Court of Johnson County on Tuesday.
If convicted of the felony offense, the girl may spend up to a year in a juvenile detention facility, according to Cavanaugh. Not to mention that being a convicted felon may prevent her from joining the military, voting, going to certain colleges, etc.
“I’m really worried about my granddaughter’s future,” he said.