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  • Writer's pictureJoanne Jacobs

Don’t talk about guns — or square-root signs

A Louisiana teenager who joked that the square-root sign looks like a gun has been barred from school and faces an expulsion hearing, despite being cleared by law enforcement, reports Josh Meny for KATC

After online gossip inflated the math joke into a threat, the Allen Parish Sheriff’s Department searched the boy’s house and found nothing. “He did not commit a crime. He did not commit anything remotely criminal, nothing to remotely suggest any intent to do actual harm,” said Sheriff Doug Hebert.

Allen Parish School District Superintendent Michael Doucet acknowledged the remark was a joke, but set a new policy:

Any student accused of talking about guns or school shootings will be investigated by three entities: the school board, the sheriff’s department, and the district attorney’s office. . . . “The first thing we’re going to do is remove that student from the premises with proper authority. Then, we’re going to have a home visit done by detectives of the sheriff’s department, and if no charges are filed, we’re going to conduct a threat assessment on the student,” Doucet said.

Students will be investigated by police if they talk about guns or school shootings? What if they want to discuss how to prevent school shootings — or how to prevent absurd over-reactions to school shootings? Can they talk about gun control?

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