Students disarm gunman, get suspended

Three football players who took a loaded gun from an angry teammate on a high school bus were suspended for three days, reports WFTX-TV in Fort Myers, Florida.

After a quarrel, a 15-year-old pulled out a revolver, aimed at another boy on the activities bus and said he’d shoot him, witnesses told police. Three boys tackled the gunmen and wrestled away the gun, which police say was loaded. The heroes were given an “emergency suspension” for being part of an “incident” where a weapon was present.

One of the suspended students described wrestling away the .22 caliber RG-14 Revolver.

“I think he was really going to shoot him right then and there,” the student said. “Not taking no pity.”
. . . “It’s dumb,” he said. “How they going to suspend me for doing the right thing?”

This 16-year-old knows the right thing — take action to save lives — and the dumb thing — punish the kids who prevented a shooting. Why don’t Cypress Hill High School administrators know the difference between right and dumb?

The 15-year-old gunman was arrested and charged with possession of a firearm on school property and assault with a deadly weapon without intent to kill.  So they’re going easy on the kid who pulled the gun and hard on the kids who stopped him.


About Joanne


  1. Richard Aubrey says:

    The place I first saw this had a comment thread. Somewhat close to half figured the admin’s response was congruent with the rad/libs’ plans for society: Punish initiative, make the government the only source of protection, get more dead kids to help make one point or another.
    Ordinarily, you’d think those people are nuts. Then there’s William of Ockham.

    • Mark Roulo says:
    • I don’t quite get your point, Richard. Are you saying that per Occam’s Razor, the simplest explanation is that it’s true that liberals are evil?

      • Richard Aubrey says:

        Depends on your definition of evil. For example, if punishing initiative is good, and finessing the occasional dead kid (aka “bump in the road”) is regrettable but necessary, then the half of the commenters I referenced aren’t talking about evil. Just describing the situation–which for some reason they don’t like.
        So it’s up to you.
        Now, it’s possible that the admin really is that stupid. I mean, you have to believe a level of stupidity so abyssal that William of O would be tentative about it. But you can believe it if you wish.
        Or you can believe they followed procedures, which means that, not only are they stupid beyond belief, so is the bunch who put the procedures together.
        You pick it.
        Now, being an optimist, I like to believe they’re that stupid. It’s not like there haven’t been things in the ed biz, say, one-tenth that gasp-making, so why shouldn’t something ten times that dumb be out of the question?
        However, given your question, note I said “radic/libs” or something like that, which would include folks like Bomber Bill Ayers and his cohorts who thought that maybe 25 million of us might have to be done away with to reach nirvana here in the good old USA. Note, also, Ayers has been professor of education at a prominent school, while his wife, Bernadine, “dig it” Dorhn has been a law prof.
        So, unless you wish to insist they have had absolutely no influence on anybody at whatsoever all in the last four decades, you have to admit something might have trickled down to the morons–who may very well be so stupid they don’t know who’s pulling their strings–about whom we are speaking.
        Me, I go for so stupid that nobody could quantify it.

        • wahoofive says:

          I wasn’t really intending to get into a discussion about the meaning of evil, but just to clarify whether you thought Occam’s Razor implied that if lots of “nuts” agree on something, that makes it true. Doubt if William would have agreed.

          • Richard Aubrey says:

            On the other hand, it’s irrelevant whether they are nuts. What happened is either part of the Plan, or because the admin is stupid beyond quantifiability.
            You have a choice?

      • For those of us who accept that “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing,” Cyprus Hill High School, in demanding that its students do nothing in the face of evil and in fact in punishing its students for standing against evil, has effectively sided with evil. But I’m making no judgments about their politics or worldview.

        • Richard Aubrey says:

          I note the use of the word “effectively”, which reminds me of Orwell’s assertion that “effectively, the pacifist favors the fascist”. He went on to insist it wasn’t on purpose or anything like that.
          Still, pacifists demanding fasicsts disarm were kind of thin on the ground back then, or now.
          Anyway, “effectively” is correct in this case.
          It might be useful to find out why, though.

          • Why I used it or why it’s correct in this case? I can’t tell if you’re calling me out…but I used it because to assert or imply that the administration intentionally sided with evil stretches into the absurd; I think the simplest “Occam’s Razor” answer is that they are clueless about how the world works and about the consequences of their decisions. We can now imagine this headline: “Students stop a rape in progress, get suspended.”

            By default (“effectively”), pacifists do favor/encourage the strongest and most aggressive side (which is often the most wanton and often fascist). My favorite question to pacifist Christians: What would Jesus have done if the money changers in the temple had responded to his whip with swords and escalated to a force-on-force engagement?

  2. Richard Aubrey says:

    Norm. I’d be interested in why these clowns did what they did.
    As I say, the stupid has to be so deep as to be difficult to believe, hence the move to other possibilities.
    This is known sometimes as “the argument from incredulity”.

    • I think that the “pastry pistol suspension” is much stupider than this–it’s just that this story is more dramatic and consequential. The two stories dovetail wonderfully. So I’m not moved to other possibilities…yet…

    • I think that the “pastry pistol suspension” is much stupider than this–it’s just that this story is more dramatic and consequential. The two stories dovetail wonderfully.

  3. Obi-Wandreas says:

    There is only one proper response for the district to take:

    A public press conference in which the superintendent and the entire school board:
    1) Publicly apologize to the students, and give them awards for quick action to defend the safety of the other students on the bus.
    2) Announce the full names and display pictures of all staff involved in doling out the suspensions, announce that they have all been fired for incompetence, and warn neighboring districts to beware in case they should attempt to apply for employment there.

    With the exception of the awards for heroism, the same treatment should be given to the pop-tart mountaineer.

    • Richard Aubrey says:

      I’d go a step further. I’d send a video to every ed student from freshman to PhD candidate, every administrator and teacher in the country.
      I have asked–truly and with genuine interest–if there is a trade mag for pub ed ‘crats. Nobody knows of one. So when something like this happens, unless it makes the news and the ‘crat happens to catch it, he is no wiser about ways to avoid looking like a freaking, chicken-brained idiot than he was the day before. So pro-active steps have to be taken.
      And I didn’t see anything about flogging. Did you hit “submit” early, or are you wimping out?

  4. The article is sensationalistic, certainly, but also internally inconsistent. “According to the mother, the school suspended her son because he refused to cooperate in the investigation.”

    • D's Squirrel Food says:

      No info from the school itself either. I know that emergency suspensions are sometimes used by schools to protect victims. If that’s the case in this story, the school didn’t communicate very well with the parents.

      Joanne also apparently can’t differentiate between the school and criminal justice system: “So they’re going easy on the kid who pulled the gun and hard on the kids who stopped him.”

  5. Michael E. Lopez says:

    This certainly sounds ludicrous.

    I’d be happy enough, though, if people just understood that Ockham’s “razor” really didn’t have much application outside the elimination of superfluous metaphysical entities.

    It was never a principle of human action.

    • Richard Aubrey says:

      Michael. In any field, until you have evidence to the contrary, it’s the way to bet. Don’t overcomplicate things until you’re sure sort of thing.
      Seen some lawyers, on law blogs and elsewhere, saying never give a cop the time of day if asked, because if there’s a bit of confusion about, say, whether “quarter after” can legitimately include sixteen minutes after, you lied to a cop. Always have a lawyer and an independently-controlled recording device handy. So refusing to cooperate in the investigation would be smart, according to some lawyers.
      I am not a lawyer, and I always aim to be helpful, but I’ve never been in trouble, either.

    • Michael, a discussion about whether one’s actions are based on a lack of wisdom or based in evil is reaching into the metaphysical. I don’t think he’s rolling in his grave over this, though he might wish he could clarify things a bit. Thank you for doing that.

  6. This comment thread is inane. The original story is heartbreaking in its stupidity. This discussion is just stupid. Sometimes this blog is really educational for me; not this. I know, I know … pot calling kettle black; but these things work best when the comments actually relate to the story and not just one’s hobby horse. I think there is a knitting blog somewhere where we could transfer the gist of this thread

    • Pot, generally when I think a thread has gone south, I let it go without comment. We readers of this blog, like all people, have our individual quirks and perspectives. Thank you for yours, even though all you’ve said is “Since I don’t know where you’re going with this, please take it somewhere else.”

      • Richard Aubrey says:

        In my characteristically humble opinion, the attention this incident grabs is not because, not merely because it happened one time one place. It seems to characterize a good deal of pub ed. As in, it or something like it could happen to your kid.
        Like the kid whose phone was confiscated because he had a picture of a BB gun on it. He took a picture of his new BB gun and brought the camera/phone to school to show a friend.
        The parent complained and the VP said the school was committed to keeping students safe.
        Not as bad as the Florida case, but you can see a pattern here, given about a bajillion other incidents. These people are stupid. Utterly, completely, irredeemably stupid, and they’re in charge of our kids.
        Some people–you know how some people are–see this as problem.

  7. to borrow from Heinlein
    “Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity.”