A student at Oberlin High School in Louisiana hasn’t been allowed back on campus since he was removed from school for a joke about the square root symbol looking like a pistol.
This is what Allen Parish School District Superintendent Michael Doucet told KATC 3:
"The students were working together, and a student made a math symbol of a square root sign, which kind of looks like a pistol. And he was helping a weaker student, and the student said, 'Well, that looks like a pistol!' And he just made a comment, you know, ‘Let's just get to work before I shoot you with a pistol.’”
Like the old game of Telephone, rumors began to spread at school and through social media that the student was planning a school shooting. The sheriff’s department was called in and the boy’s home was searched for weapons. Sheriff Doug Hebert said the search turned up no evidence that the student was a danger to his classmates.
“He did not commit a crime,” said the sheriff. “He did not commit anything remotely criminal, nothing to remotely suggest any intent to do actual harm.”
However, the incident spurred the district to rewrite its rules, as Doucet explained:
"The first thing we're going to do is remove that student from the premises with proper authority. Then, we're going to have a home visit done by detectives of the sheriff's department, and if no charges are filed, we're going to conduct a threat assessment on the student.”
KATC reported, “Any student accused of talking about guns or school shootings will be investigated by three entities: the school board, the sheriff's department, and the district attorney's office.”
The student who made the joke is banned from campus and will enter a hearing to determine if he will be expelled from the entire school system.
The superintendent said such extreme measures “concern” him, but he said schools can no longer take these things lightly:
“Does it concern me sometimes? Sure it does! But if you lost a child and didn't take an incident seriously because you thought it was minor and something did happen, that parent who lost that child would be hard to explain to.”
Guns and free speech are becoming things of the past. They don’t gel with modern culture, thus sayeth the mighty government.
Watch the news report below: