A 13-year-old Indiana boy is serving a five day suspension after it appeared that he had waved a gun in the school parking lot, though it was later discovered that he was only in possession of a laser pointer.
According to police, a parent picking up her son from Westville School noticed the boy waving a gun-like object in the parking lot with books in his other hand.
The next day, police searched the boy’s locker and found no such weapon. When police talked to the boy’s mother, she noted that he had a laser pointer that could look like a gun.
Though a laser pointer seems harmless, police have deemed the object as “dangerous”.
“They are very dangerous in and of themselves, but anytime you have anything that looks like a firearm it’s obviously a danger and would be considered a credible threat,” LaPorte County police Captain Mike Kellems said.
Kellems added that LaPorte County Sheriffs have firearms with lasers built into them, which means that police could mistake a laser for a firearm.
Police chose not to pursue any charges, but instead gave the school an option to deliver punishment. In response, the school suspended the boy for five days under a policy that prohibits guns or anything resembling a gun on school property.
"Lasers aren't made to be toys,” Kellems said. “It's unfortunate they're kind of marketed as a toy or a gimmick but they're not meant to be toys.”
According to police, the 13-year-old received the laser pointer from a friend, who was suspended from school for three days after bringing it on campus.
Further questions regarding disciplinary measures went unanswered on Monday since they were directed to Curtiss Strietelmeier, the superintendent of the Metropolitan School District of New Durham Township, who was out of town.