Mother Outraged After Police Search Home Over BB Gun Seen During Virtual Class
Russ Chastain 06.19.20
Navy veteran Courtney Lancaster was surprised earlier this month when police officers came knocking on her door to search her home for “weapons” in order “to address an issue with [her] son’s school.”
Shocked, she consented to allow the officers to search her home. Although no violations were reportedly found, the concerned mother delved deeper and was upset to learn how this had all come about.
“I felt violated as a parent, for my child, who’s standing there with police officers in his room, just to see the fear on his face,” she said.
Courtney learned that during a Google Meet class in which her 11-year-old son participated, his BB and airsoft guns were visible in the background. During that class, someone took a screenshot and sent it to the school principal. The school safety officer then called police “because the weapon was not secured.”
She said the principal initially compared the presence of the BB gun to bringing a firearm to school!
School administrators refused to show Courtney the screenshot of her own child “because it’s not part of his student record.” The mother is concerned about who is watching her child through the cameras during online classes, and wonders whether images of her child could end up in the wrong hands.
“It’s absolutely scary to think about,” Courtney said. “Who are on these calls? Who do we have viewing your children and subsequently taking these screenshots that can be sent anywhere or used for any purpose?”
Aside from that, Lancaster wonders why nobody even contacted her before calling police. She’s also concerned because there seem to be no clear guidelines about what can trigger a home inspection from police.
“There’s no more trust. There have just been a series of lies and just no cooperation,” she said.
Now, she worries about the future of virtual learning without clear policies in place.
“So, what are the parameters? Where are the lines drawn? If my son is sitting at the kitchen island next to a butcher block, does that constitute a weapon? It’s not allowed at school, right? So, would my home then be searched because he’s sitting next to a butcher block? I feel like parents need to be made aware of what the implications are, what the expectations are.”
I guess the moral of the story is that we are always being watched, and we should probably get used to it.