Brickbat: Virtual Panic


Courtney Lancaster says she was surprised to see a police patrol car pull up to her home and an officer come to her door. Despite her misgivings, she allowed the police to search her home, and they went to her 11-year-old son's room. It turns out that during a video lesson a teacher at Maryland's Seneca Elementary School saw a BB gun, which the boy learned to shoot in the Boy Scouts, hanging on the wall of her son's bedroom. The teacher took a screenshot and showed it to the school security officer, who called police. Cops searched the home for about 20 minutes before determining the family had broken no laws. "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. Lancaster says the school's principal told her having a gun present in a video lesson is the same thing as bringing one to school. A spokesman for Baltimore County Schools refused to answer questions from the media about the incident.

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  1. I’m having a bit of trouble deciding which is the biggest idiot in this story. I suppose I’ll go with the parent who let a warrantless cop search her home. The principal and the teacher deserve plenty of wrath too but the parent crying about feeling ” violated as a parent, for my child” after allowing it to happen makes me sick to my stomach.

    1. I’m having no trouble deciding who is the biggest idiot in this story. It’ s definitely the school principal, who cannot tell the difference between having a BB-gun in one’s home and bringing it to school. It is absolutely not the same thing and the principal should lose their job for such spectacularly poor judgement.

      However, to be fair, everyone involved from that school deserves to be publicly flogged for their violation of the family’s 4th amendment rights. Luckily, the cops were willing to concede that “no laws had been broken” after they too had violated the family.

      In a just world, the cops would have charged the school for wasting the police department’s time, at least. Better still would be to arrest them for civil rights violations. You’d think schools would be able to understand the Bill of Rights but, these days they’ve all be indoctrinated in the Bill of Lefts. Expecting them to behave reasonably is asking too much, I guess.

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      2. Looks like it’s idiots all the way down.

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      3. I have to disagree, the parents were ignorant fools for not standing up for themselves and their rights and this teacher is the exact reason they need to be standing up. I’ll bet you anything this teacher is part of the gun-grabber culture who felt triggered by seeing a gun and feels that seeing a gun is a microaggression, an act of violence, against her. She’s not ignorant and can’t distinguish between bringing a gun to school and seeing a gun in a video, she just doesn’t want there to be a distinction. She’s a bully and an authoritarian out to punish anybody that disagrees with her on abolishing gun rights – and I’m sure like any good leftist, punishing anybody who disagrees with her on anything.

        1. Agreed, but I’d rope the principle into that same corral. Principle should also have known, and may also have known and pretended to not know, but worse than the teacher, had no one to cover for him like the teacher had the principle; the buck stops here, so to speak. The teacher might have been just virtue signalling, but the principle had a real choice to make.

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      4. Not all civil rights violations are criminal. In fact, most aren’t, thus we have USC 42 Section 1893. And I’m pretty sure that the courts have not specifically ruled that calling the police when a teacher sees a gun in a student’s room during a video conference is a civil rights violation, so the teacher and principal are also protected by QI.

        1. Actually I’m pretty sure that *if they wanted to* the feds could easily find a federal statute authorizing them to immediately arrest officers like the ones that killed George Floyd. Violation of civil rights under color of law etc.

          Such a policy, aggressively pursued, would make QI less of an issue. But it doesn’t look like it’s going to happen.

        2. There are no civil rights…only natural rights as stated in the Declaration of Independence and Bill of Rights…

      5. Yes. If there are no consequences for being stupid (a core ethic of the progressive agenda, but that’s another topic) then stupid will continue to propagate.

        A lesson from another realm. Many years ago, I was active in amateur auto racing. We operated under a quasi-democratic system, including creating and enforcing rules. And we knew that people tried to break those rules, with things like cheater motors.

        We had a superficial level of inspection to catch cheaters, but most enforcement was grass roots: think you got beat by a cheater? Then register a protest and instigate an investigation. But to register a protest required a modest fee. And the protestor could also be liable for additional costs. If tearing down a motor found no violations, then the protestor was on the hook for the costs of the tear-down and the rebuilding.

      6. Are you kidding? About the only way a principal can lose their job these days is to exhibit less than full support for Black Lives Matter.

        I wish I was kidding here. A principal in Vermont was suspended for posting this on Facebook:

        “I firmly believe that Black Lives Matter, but I DO NOT agree with the coercive measures taken to get this point across; some of which are falsified in an attempt to prove a point. While I want to get behind BLM, I do not think people should be made to feel they have to choose black race over human race. While I understand the urgency to feel compelled to advocate for black lives, what about our fellow law enforcement? What about all others who advocate for and demand equity for all? Just because I don’t walk around with a BLM sign should not mean I am a racist.”

        1. So much for free speech. Its now if you don’t agree and support the other side on every issue..and celebrate the other side you should be destroyed and the media and all for this.. A very sad commentary on America. The cultural marxists won..

    2. Let the cops do a peaceful search without a warrant, or wait for them to get a warrant after which they will completely destroy the home out of spite. Choose.

      1. There’s also the usual chance that resisting the search legally or passively submitting to the warrant causes the person standing nearest to any given family pet to suffer an accidental discharge center mass.

      2. In the first case if they find something you have no recourse. If they have a warrant and find something you can challenge the validity of the warrant. Never cooperate with the police they are not your friends they are there to put you in a cage.

    3. Idiocy and ignorance can be forgiven, or pitied. A lot of people believe that the police are basically good and won’t fuck over innocent people. The malevolence of the school officials, and the police taking advantage of the good will and ignorance of people like this woman is the big problem.

  2. The principal was convinced that if Ralphie has a BB gun, he will inevitably shoot his eye out at some point.

    (Just kidding. The principal is a moron.)

    1. What if the principal saw that lamp?

  3. Baltimore County. What did you expect?

    1. Virtual detention is out. How about suspension?

    2. Well, the cops can’t spend their time hassling the blacks.

  4. Ensure those weapons are prominently displayed during all future sessions. Perhaps also put up the Bill of Rights.

    1. Damn fucking straight. If I was doing home schooling, the wall behind me would be full of weapons one day and dildos the next. Just to fuck with the Karens.

    2. A big “Death to Principles” banner. Let them stew on that one.

      1. Leftards like that would totally agree with the sentiment of “Death to Principles”; it’s all about the feelz for them.

    3. Bill of Rights is hate speech since it tells government people they can’t do stuff.

    4. Make sure the 2nd amendment is brightly highlighted.

    5. Have some more fun. Hang a Confederate battle flag in the room.

  5. The teacher took a screenshot and showed it to the school security officer…

    The class project was an object lesson in pearl clutching and education bureaucracy overreach.

    Things would no doubt be awkward with that shining example of a public school teacher in future classes, whether or not they let the kid activate his camera for her.

    1. I’m starting to understand how the phrase “snitches deserve stitches” came about.

      1. It sounds better than “snitches deserve tiny BB welts”

        1. Wasn’t there a compound bow (assault bow?) also hanging on the wall?
          More effective.

          1. Looks like somebody clicks the links. La-de-da.

          2. Nobody needs a quiver that holds ten arrows.

  6. Goodness me! And what of the peanut butter crackers he was eating? Doesn’t he know there might be others watching with peanut allergies?

    1. LOL. Just spit coffee on my laptop. Guess I shouldn’t try to sip while reading Brickbat comments.

    2. *slow claps*
      Hats off to you

  7. he stores his bow and guns on this wall in his bedroom
    Bow you say. Didn’t those Duke boys use a bow? I see an unacceptable connection to the Confederacy here. Get your torches!

  8. Time to go a bit retro; execute the principal, his family, every instructor he had in college, and their family.
    Same for the ‘security officer’ and his family.
    We clearly need to improve the gene pool.
    I am undecided about the cop.
    The mother just needs a good counseling session with a constitutional lawyer.

  9. What we really need to do is rescind QI for school principles. Then this sort of abuse of children for making pop-tart guns and owning BB guns will go away. QI is the reason police officers school principals know they can violate these kids’ rights with impunity.

    1. *cough*QI for school principals*cough*

      1. We all know schools don’t have principles anyway

      2. Oh dear. I think I made the same typo.

        1. Just remember: “the principal is not your pal”. Easy peasy.

  10. “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,”

    Then why the fuck did you let the cops come in and search the house without a warrant?

    1. Just another uneducated rube clinging to the past, when police and school principals did not intrude on basic human (and Constitutional) rights.

    2. Because they have guns and if you say no they break down the door and start shooting people.

    3. Exactly. You weren’t violated if, “despite [your] misgivings,”you voluntarily let the cops through the door. But I suppose she thought innocent people have nothing to hide, huh? She’s at least as stupid as the bitches who retroactively withdraw consent and allege rape after a one night stand they happen to regret.

      1. And if she did say no and the cops broke down the door and shot members of her family, what would you be telling her then, that it’s her own fault for not consenting to the search?

        1. Well, what are you saying? That everyone should just always roll over for the police?
          There is some chance in any police encounter that you could be subject to some violence. But, in most circumstances I think the odds are low enough that it is still worthwhile to assert your rights. Especially when there is no evidence than any actual crime has been committed.

          1. “Well, what are you saying? That everyone should just always roll over for the police?”

            No, that’s not what I’m saying.

            I have two points.

            1. No police search ever is genuinely consensual. There is always some level of coercion in every police/citizen encounter.

            2. Both always say yes to the cops and always say no to the cops are stupid advice. Every individual has to make an individualized decision based on a specific circumstance. Even if that person regrets it later, anyone who mocks that decision is either a moron or an asshole.

    4. I took a different impression, that she was expressing regret for her decision, that she acknowledged her fault. Not “I was violated” but “I felt violated”. She just didn’t know better and now admits she learned a lesson.

      1. Yeah, it’s also not entirely clear how the issue was presented to her.

        Officer: “Ma’am we have reason to believe there’s a deadly weapon that poses a threat to yourself and others on your poperty and, with your permission, we need to search the premises.”
        Lancaster: “Oh?! OK, go ahead and remove the threat.”
        Officer: “Great, let’s go to the kid’s room and seize the BB gun.”
        Lancaster: “Wait, WTF?”

  11. Lancaster says the school’s principal told her having a gun present in a video lesson is the same thing as bringing one to school.

    “having a window present in a video lesson is the same thing as bringing one to school.”

    “having a tiger present in a video lesson is the same thing as bringing one to school.”

    “having a coronavirus present in a video lesson is the same thing as bringing one to school.”

  12. Another aspect of this:

    She was also told she could not see the screenshot of her son’s bedroom, because it’s not part of his student record.

    “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?”

    Since “having a gun present in a video lesson is the same thing as bringing one to school”, it would seem Mom has grounds for pressing kidnapping charges against the school.

    1. Remember, telecommuting and WFH is going to free us all. The people painting pictures of big brother-esque “See something, say something” futures where a human’s only individual respite is a small corner of their one-room dwelling where the cameras don’t see them is just Luddite naysayers trying to hold technology back.

      1. Look on the bright side. There’s a great future in selling “appropriate” background images!

        1. A poster of a frowning woman captioned “That’s Not Funny”?

        2. Yeah, by the 3rd day of ‘classes from home’ my 10-yr.-old was already snapping photos of himself and using them as his background.

  13. I’d like to shoot the teacher, principal, resource officer, and the mom in the ass with a BB gun.

  14. Can we boog yet?

    1. Only if we use the glory hole. Safety first, ya know.

  15. “A spokesman for Baltimore County Schools refused to answer questions from the media about the incident.”

    So we should interpret their actions as uncharitably as we possibly can.

    I am.

  16. The question above was: “who is the biggest idiot”?

    I’m going to go with the guy who didn’t fire the principle who says “having a gun present in a video lesson is the same thing as bringing one to school.”

    That is clear evidence that you are not qualified to shoulder the responsibility for hundreds of young lives.

    Yeah… a BB gun in the background of a Zoom meeting is exactly the same as bringing an AK-47 to school…..

    I thought the “pop tart gun” was going to take the all-time record for stupid… but this one actually comes close.

  17. The true villain in this is the police dispatcher when a friendly “I’m sorry ma’am, it doesn’t sound like any law has been violated. Would you like me to refer you’re call to the social services child division? If your intent is to really fuck with these people they will be far more effective “.

  18. What goes through a teacher’s head:

    “Aha, I found one!” And then run and go tell.

    What goes through a principal’s head:

    Zero tolerance, take no chances, no exceptions, what if we don’t “do something” and “something” happens?

  19. Government schools are child abuse.

    Idiocy. The purpose of the video lesson is to reduce C-19 spreading, thus the school sends high exposure cops to expose this good and innocent family.

    While leftist and nationalist politicians gain ground for statism, all government employees hold that ground.

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