Society

11-Year-Olds Face Charges For Bringing Orange Plastic Gun to School

| by Allison Geller

Two Michigan elementary school students will face charges for bringing an orange plastic gun to school.

The 11-year-olds from Flint were arrested on disorderly conduct charges when another student saw the toy gun and reported it to an adult on Feb. 5. The school’s superintendent, Larry Watkins, believed the boys had brought a BB gun, which he called “an expellable offense.”

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Genesee County prosecutor David Leyton learned that the students were mad at their teacher. They arranged for one to bring the gun, which had a broken part and was inoperable, to scare the teacher.

“The incident was intended to threaten the teacher and that's not something that the school or the juvenile justice system can ignore," Leyton said.

Leyton said that the intent behind the boys’ actions, as well as the implications of bringing even a fake weapon on school grounds, makes it a serious matter. A petition has been filed in juvenile court to charge the boys with disturbing the peace.

"It's always your concern that a young person can get his hands on a real gun and bring it to school," Leyton said. "There is no reason to bring a gun to school. Bringing a gun, even if it's a toy gun, to school causes all sorts of chaos and I think these youngsters need to be brought into the courthouse and we need to get their attention so that's what we're going to do."

Flint has been labeled the most violent city in the United States for the past three years, with the most violent crimes per capita of any city with over 100,000 residents.

Sources: MLive (2), ABC 12