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Sun Jun 14, 2020, 10:12 AM

'I felt violated': Police search Maryland house over BB gun in virtual class

https://abc3340.com/news/nation-world/i-felt-violated-police-search-maryland-house-over-bb-gun-in-virtual-class

BALTIMORE, Md. (WBFF) A Baltimore County family is warning other parents after they say police were called to their house over something that happened during a virtual school lesson. The incident is raising concerns over privacy and safety in the era of online learning.

As a Navy veteran with four years of active duty, Courtney Lancaster has extensive knowledge of guns, how to use them and how to store them.

Her 11-year-old son, who owns BB guns, is a boy scout in fifth grade at Seneca Elementary School.

He's just a very intellectual child, but he's all boy as well. He loves to be outside and play and ride his bikes and that sort of thing, Courtney told Project Baltimore.

In his pursuit of becoming an Eagle Scout, Courtney says her son has learned how to shoot a BB gun and an airsoft gun. Hes also taken three levels of archery lessons. His mother says he stores his bow and guns on this wall in his bedroom. Its never been a problem until June 1, when police pulled up outside her house.

I had no idea what to think. I've never been in any legal trouble whatsoever. I've never had any negative encounter with law enforcement, said Courtney. I had no idea. I really didn't know what to think.

Courtney says she was home with her son whos been doing virtual learning since schools shut down in March.

So, I answered the door. The police officer was, he was very nice. He explained to me that he was coming to address an issue with my son's school, Courtney told Project Baltimore. And then explained to me that he was here to search for weapons, in my home. And I consented to let him in. And then I, unfortunately, stood there and watched police officers enter my 11-year-old son's bedroom.

Courtney was told someone had seen the guns in her sons bedroom during a Google Meet class on his laptop.

I thought, this is outrageous. This is despicable, she said. I had no idea what in the world could this be over? BB guns never even once entered my mind. How many 11-year-old boys have BB guns?

According to emails Courtney later exchanged with a school administrator, a screenshot was taken during the online class. The principal of Seneca Elementary was notified. Courtney says she was told the school safety officer then called police.

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 says the police officers were in her home for about 20 minutes and found no violations. No laws were broken and no dangers present. They left without any further action, but Courtney wasnt done.

Since that day, she has written school administrators, the superintendent and the school board, demanding answers. She says the principal initially compared bringing a weapon to a virtual class to bringing a gun to school.

She was also told she could not see the screenshot of her sons bedroom, because its 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?

Project Baltimore reached out to Baltimore County Schools requesting an interview. We received this statement, Our longstanding policy is to not debate individual circumstances through the media. There are multiple ways for families to share concerns with us. In general terms, the safety of students and staff is our chief concern, whether we are meeting in classrooms or via continuity of learning.

Courtney says she understands the safety concerns, but no one called her first before involving 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, Courtney said. I feel like parents need to be made aware of what the implications are, what the expectations are.

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Arrow 20 replies Author Time Post
Reply 'I felt violated': Police search Maryland house over BB gun in virtual class (Original post)
Dial H For Hero Jun 2020 OP
d_r Jun 2020 #1
Dial H For Hero Jun 2020 #3
murielm99 Jun 2020 #7
d_r Jun 2020 #12
d_r Jun 2020 #11
Celerity Jun 2020 #2
bobbieinok Jun 2020 #4
Hassin Bin Sober Jun 2020 #6
d_r Jun 2020 #13
kcr Jun 2020 #17
d_r Jun 2020 #20
BusyBeingBest Jun 2020 #5
Hock_Mir_Keyn_Chinek Jun 2020 #8
Dial H For Hero Jun 2020 #10
Demonaut Jun 2020 #9
d_r Jun 2020 #14
Hav Jun 2020 #15
Chainfire Jun 2020 #16
kcr Jun 2020 #18
Baclava Jun 2020 #19

Response to Dial H For Hero (Original post)

Sun Jun 14, 2020, 10:18 AM

1. For the record

There is nothing about becoming an eagle scout that requires it involves bb guns

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Response to d_r (Reply #1)

Sun Jun 14, 2020, 10:24 AM

3. It's not required, but there is a rifle shooting merit badge that can count as one of those needed

to become an eagle scout.

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Response to Dial H For Hero (Reply #3)

Sun Jun 14, 2020, 10:31 AM

7. My son is an Eagle Scout.

He has that badge. The scoutmaster took them to the local gun club and had someone qualified teach him and other interested boys how to shoot. This was done with parental permission.

We live in the country. We have shotguns. Most people who live in the country have shotguns and know how to use them.

My son lives in an urban area now. He does not own a gun. He has told me that he was not a very good shot to begin with. His dad, who served in the military is much better.

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Response to murielm99 (Reply #7)

Sun Jun 14, 2020, 11:19 AM

12. Yes

He probably did it with a .22, he did not do it with a BB gun. My son has that badge and is precovid registered for shotgun the first week of July. It hasn't been canceled yet but I assume it will be. He didn't do shotgun last summer to do other things.

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Response to Dial H For Hero (Reply #3)

Sun Jun 14, 2020, 11:17 AM

11. There is

There is rifle shooting, shotgun shooting, and archery. None are required for an Eagle Scout but may be used as an elective. All must be completed on a certified range with a certified instructor. Almost always, this is at a BSA summer camp. None use bb or airsoft guns. In fact, I believe that airsoft is specifically forbidden at scouting events.

At the cub scout level, boys and girls are able to shoot bb guns. At this level, it is only at Council events with a certified range and a certified instructor. It is not required for advancement.

Don't get me wrong. This story is egregious, there is so much wrong with this story.

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Response to Dial H For Hero (Original post)

Sun Jun 14, 2020, 10:24 AM

2. K & R

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Response to Dial H For Hero (Original post)

Sun Jun 14, 2020, 10:26 AM

4. So every family with kid in virtual learnig has to have room like John Oliver

A totally blank wall where nothing but student can be seen

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Response to bobbieinok (Reply #4)

Sun Jun 14, 2020, 10:29 AM

6. Maybe not have guns in the picture? Shouldn't be too hard...

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Response to Hassin Bin Sober (Reply #6)

Sun Jun 14, 2020, 11:19 AM

13. It was a bb gun

Most kids that age have a bb gun.

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Response to d_r (Reply #13)

Sun Jun 14, 2020, 02:13 PM

17. None of my sons' friends have BB guns

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Response to kcr (Reply #17)

Thu Jun 18, 2020, 02:39 PM

20. All of mine do

Probably different location or ses?

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Response to Dial H For Hero (Original post)

Sun Jun 14, 2020, 10:27 AM

5. Meh. Someone was worried about your household situation and your kid's safety.

It's an unfortunate incident, but no one was hurt. I can't gin up outrage.

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Response to Dial H For Hero (Original post)

Sun Jun 14, 2020, 10:39 AM

8. That is why all Americans must learn to say the following:

 

I do not consent to any searches or seizures of my person, my property or my vehicle. You may not enter the premises without a warrant SIGNED BY A JUDGE. I do not consent to any further conversation. I will answer no further questions.

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Response to Hock_Mir_Keyn_Chinek (Reply #8)

Sun Jun 14, 2020, 10:55 AM

10. That's my takeaway from the story.

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Response to Dial H For Hero (Original post)

Sun Jun 14, 2020, 10:50 AM

9. former Navy myself, we had training on mops and floor buffers, not guns..what was her rate?

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Response to Dial H For Hero (Original post)

Sun Jun 14, 2020, 11:21 AM

14. My kids

Online classes were not allowed to be in their bedroom.

Actually made it hard when four people had to be on a different zoom at the same time. I set up a station for me in the garage.

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Response to Dial H For Hero (Original post)

Sun Jun 14, 2020, 11:33 AM

15. I agree that calling her first to discuss it might have been better

but I also have no clue about the policies they have to follow. I also understand parents/kids who might think there was potential for danger.
For several of the last major school shootings, the authorities and departments were criticized for not acting after explicit warnings in ways that could have prevented the shootings. This seems to be a proactive approach that accepts that it will get many false positives for the sake of preventing a tragedy.

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Response to Dial H For Hero (Original post)

Sun Jun 14, 2020, 12:51 PM

16. The first thing that struck me

is why anyone would allow the police inside their homes without a warrant? I would have told them to get lost.

An attorney friend, many years ago, told me that if the police come to the door, talk to them outside and shut the door behind you. To allow them on a fishing expedition inside your home is insane, even if you have nothing to hide.

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Response to Dial H For Hero (Original post)

Sun Jun 14, 2020, 02:14 PM

18. Sorry. No outrage here.

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Response to Dial H For Hero (Original post)

Sun Jun 14, 2020, 02:17 PM

19. Not a "BB" gun, Airsoft guns that look just like AK-47s and AR-15s, show the picture

Displayed on a wall, I could see how a school would be concerned

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