A Colorado high school student was suspended for one day last month after an anonymous tipster alerted police to a “threatening” video posted to the social media site Snapchat.
The video, uploaded by 16-year-old junior Nathan Myers, depicts several handguns sitting on a table along with an AR-15 that cannot be seen in a case. The text “Finna be lit” is superimposed on the video and means, basically, “I’m about to have a good time.”
“While we were at her [Nathan’s mother’s] house getting ready to go, I took a video of five or six pistols and an AR-15,” Nathan told Complete Colorado. “None of them were loaded, they were all in their cases.”
The Loveland Police Department received the video via the state’s “Safe2Tell” hotline, a program started in 2004 that allows parents, students, teachers, and administrators to share information about potential threats like suicide, drugs, and bullying.
Their investigation found that Nathan had posted the video before a trip to the gun range with his mother, Justine Myers.
“We had a great day,” Justine said. “This is what we do. Nathan has been shooting many times with us. We are huge Second Amendment supporters.”
After returning from the range, the two immediately met with police to resolve the issue, and law enforcement determined that Nathan wasn’t a threat. The mother and son believed that was the end of the conflict.
“His father told them he was out shooting with me, I am an avid shooter,” Justine said. “So, the officers said he wasn’t in trouble and left.”
But the school district wasn’t satisfied. The Thompson Valley School District (TVSD) informed Nathan’s father that he would not be allowed to return to school until they had conducted a full investigation.
“I called to ask why I couldn’t go, and they said it was a safety concern because the student who reported it was scared I was going to shoot up the school,” Nathan said, adding that in three years at Loveland High School he had never had a conflict with another student.
The school told Justine that they would need to conduct a “threat assessment hearing” the next day, where she would defend her son in front of a seven-person panel, comprised of school administration, counselors, teachers, and law enforcement, according to Reason.com.
The hearing only lasted about five minutes, and the panel determined that Nathan’s suspension should end. But the junior’s troubles were far from over.
Along with catching up on missed schoolwork, Nathan has had to deal with antagonism from peers, some of whom call him a “school shooter” and a “terrorist,” according to the Loveland Reporter-Herald.
“It’s kind of hard to know that a bunch of people could be thinking that about you,” Nathan said.
Justine understands why the police had to respond to the tip line, but she believes the school dropped the ball.
“I 100% understand and agree with what they had to do. And as a parent I’m grateful,” she said. “But it should have been over and done with Tuesday night.”