In this day and age, threats of violence against schools, students, churches, or individuals is not and should not be tolerated. Before murdering more than a dozen people at his former high school in Parkland, Florida, Nikolas Cruz threatened to kill people multiple times, even stating that “I’m going to be a professional school shooter.” Had his threats been investigated, those children and teachers may still be alive. Anyone who who makes threats like his should be taken seriously and the police should act immediately.
But when should a threat not be taken seriously? How about when a 6-year-old girl with Down syndrome points her finger at a teacher and pretends to shoot? That’s when.
Unfortunately for Maggie Gaines, the mother of 6-year-old Margo, who is a student at Valley Forge Elementary School, her school did take it seriously and now her daughter has her name in a police report.
According to Gaines, Margo became frustrated in class last November and made a gesture with her hand that looked like a “gun.” This gesture then set off a series of events that ended with a 6-year-old with Down Syndrome having a police report on file.
Tredyffrin-Easttown School District says they had no other choice but to report the little girl to police and now Margo’s mom is fighting back.
“They get this phone call and I was fine with everything up until calling the police,” Gaines said. “And I said, ‘You absolutely do not have to call the police. You know, this is ridiculous.’”
After making her finger into the shape of a gun, Margo was sent to the principal’s office where it was determined no one was in harm’s way.
“My daughter got frustrated and pointed her finger at her teacher and said, ‘I shoot you,’” Gaines said. “At that point, they went to the principal’s office and it was quickly assessed that she didn’t even really know what she was saying.”
Despite knowing no one was truly threatened, Margo’s actions were labelled as a transient threat and the police were called—for a 6-year-old girl with Down syndrome.
“They were asking her questions, and she was saying, ‘Oh, I shoot mommy,’ laughs, or, ‘I shoot my brother.’ The principal asked, ‘Did you mean to hurt your teacher?’ And she said no and it seemed like she didn’t even know what that meant,” Gaines stated.’