Is the take-home message that students should never criticize school personnel if they’ve ever worn a Soviet trench coat, or that they shouldn’t criticize gun control advocates? Is this what we get when DHS issues lists of “warning signs” or “red flags” that could apply to so many people? Or was the school right to want a psychiatric evaluation before letting the student back in school? Would this have been better handled without police involvement?
Eugene Volokh writes:
From M.V. v. Bd. of Ed. of the Borough of Manville, 2016 WL 7433235, a New Jersey administrative decision that stems from an incident that hit the news in September:
A teacher found a flash drive after school hours in a classroom, which she turned into the main office. A staff person in the main office reviewed the flash drive. It revealed satirical cartoon materials entitled Gun Control for Dummies. It depicts alleged absurdities of gun control bans, specifically, various nationwide school incidents involving school attacks, with the perpetrators considering that the locations of the incidents had gun bans, providing the perpetrators with a degree of security that, “No one here can shoot back.” The other cartoons had similar messages….
The staff person turned the material over to Ilana Kurtin, one of the school’s guidance counselors. The staff at the main office or Ms. Kurtin, discovered that the flash drive belonged to [Frank Harvey]. She had previous experience with [Harvey]. She certified she knew him to be a loner, occasionally wore a Soviet trench coat and hat, and had a fascination with war and violent video games. She related an incident from the previous year where [Harvey] critically commented on the staff’s inability to perform their jobs.
Read more on The Volokh Conspiracy.