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Cops Called After High School Students Mistake Square Root Symbol for Gun

Cops Called After High School Students Mistake Square Root Symbol for Gun

Student awaiting expulsion hearing

During a math discussion, a student being helped by another student with a math problem was told the square root symbol he’d drawn looked like a sketch of a pistol. (NARRATOR: But it was not a pistol). It was a principal square root symbol.

One of the students then popped off with something along the lines of, “well, let’s get to work before I shoot you with a pistol!” A horrible game of telephone later and the cops were called, the student was removed from campus and his home investigated.

That joke quickly morphed into a rumor about a possible school shooting.

From a local ABC affiliate:

On Wednesday night, KATC reported that The Allen Parish Sheriff’s Department responded to a comment that an Oberlin High School student made about the square root symbol looking like a gun.

Deputies say they searched the teenager’s home after a tip came in that he was planning to bring a gun to school on Wednesday spread through social media.

“He committed no crime. He was the victim of the ole morphing of information [phenomenon],” explained Allen Parish Sheriff Doug Hebert.

Sheriff Hebert explained that the online gossip about the Oberlin High student spread so far that the rumor did not accurately depict the truth at all.

Allen Parish School District Superintendent Michael Doucet explained that it was a poorly judged quip between one student to another in a math class.

“The students were working together, and a student made a math symbol of a square root sign, which kind of looks like a pistol. And he was helping a weaker student, and the student says, ‘Well, that looks like a pistol!’ And he just made a comment [like] ‘let’s just get to work before I shoot you with a pistol,” said Superintendent Doucet.

Gossip turned it into a rumor about the student plotting to carry out a mass shooting at Oberlin High School. The rumor warranted a search of the student’s home for guns.

“He did not commit a crime. He did not commit anything remotely criminal, nothing to remotely suggest any intent to do actual harm,” said Hebert.

The student who made the comment is still banned from school, even after the investigation found he had done nothing wrong. Worse still? The student cannot return, assuming he’s allowed to return to school, while he awaits an expulsion hearing.

In response to the recent Florida school shooting boondoggle, it’s understandable that school systems want to ensure any and all threats are taken seriously. But in a case like this, it seems pretty clear there was absolutely no reason to believe this student is a threat to himself or others.

The school board created a new policy to deal with talk of guns and shootings. If a student is even accused of talking about either, they’ll be investigated by the sheriff’s department, the school board, and the DA. Thorough, but leaves the door wide open for weaponization of the policy. Just look at how far fetched this story became.

ABC ctd:

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.

If an incident like this occurs again, Doucet explained the protocol.

“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.

Right now, the school district is not allowing the student on school property, and he’s awaiting an expulsion hearing to determine if he can continue attending the school system.

Superintendent Doucet says he is concerned by the new stricter guidelines, but he says he’s doing what it takes to get the best results.

“Does it concern me sometimes? Sure it does! But if you lost a child and didn’t take an incident seriously because you thought it was minor and something did happen, that parent that lost that child would be hard to explain.”

Le sigh.

Relatedly, you have to wonder what the heck they’re teaching if high school students don’t recognize a square root symbol.


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I still can’t help but think this story is bogus. Even though it probably is not. I mean I write Fantasy as a hobby, and I could never put this into a story without somebody calling it nuts.

Ahem. With that being said, I think the best comment I’ve seen on the issue so far is that the school feared the student was becoming… radicalized.

Thank you, thank you. I’ll be here all week. Enjoy the salad bar.

The kid will do better if he’s homeschooled anyway, particularly since he is smart enough to understand what a square root symbol is and explain it to someone else.

Sadly, schools teach to the lowest common denominator these days so that “nobody is left behind”

In addition to being unfair and racist, math is also a micro aggression.

I am so-o-o-o thankful I graduated from high school 45 years ago.

    Me too!

    lul, joke’s on you. “Education” is the gift that keeps on giving and yup … you are still payin’.

    My GED from ’68 is golden.

    We used to keep shotguns in the car at the high school parking lot during hunting season.

    My, how times have changed…

      I took a marksmanship class in the basement of our junior high building, circa 1978. Yes, the school had an indoor firing range.

      Every time this comes up, I tell this story. I come from a little, tiny town that looks like something out of a Norman Rockwell painting. The high school had 700 students total grades 7 through 12.

      I graduated from High School in 1997. in 1993-94 when I started high school, students would bring their shotguns to school and keep them IN THEIR LOCKERS during the day when they would go out hunting either before school or after school before going home. The teachers knew whom was bringing weapons, and nobody even looked sideways at it, because so much of the district was rural farmland or forest. It was simply expected that if you had a long gun with you, you not only KNEW how to use it safely, but that it was unloaded and safed, and you were expected to treat it properly.

      In 1995-96, the school became concerned that liability might be a problem, and implemented a policy requesting that the students no longer keep the long-guns in personal lockers, and instead the Agriculture Lab professor would take possession of them first thing in the morning when the students arrived and keep them locked in a teacher-locker in the Agriculture / Small Engine Mechanics lab.

      That lasted two years, and then the school implemented a policy that the students not have firearms on campus anymore. The Columbine school massacre was the next year.

“The school board created a new policy to deal with talk of guns and shootings. If a student is even accused of talking about either, they’ll be investigated by the sheriff’s department, the school board, and the DA.”

Umm, really, they can’t even talk about “guns or shootings”? Even if they’re discussing current events?

I’d hope listeners would make some effort to determine the context of the discussion, yet lack confidence that school officials can or will do so.

In any case, ubiquitous cell phones have surely supercharged the dissemination of rumors.

    UnCivilServant in reply to Albigensian. | February 23, 2018 at 4:22 pm

    So how does history cover wars after the Hundred Years War?

    These people are quite literally insane and they, not the student, should be evaluated to determine if their presence in a school, any school, is a threat to students

      Paul In Sweden in reply to MarkS. | February 24, 2018 at 10:33 am

      School boards, Administrators and teachers need to be arrested, prosecuted and fined if found to be wasting law enforcement resources. This is tantamount to filing a false police report and shouting fire in a theater. We are at the point that leftists are just about SWATing others over their leftist zero tolerance. It is absurd to waste valuable community resources. Taxpayers should in addition to not having their children educated at great cost, should not also have reduced emergency services due to these ridiculous policies of leftist fiefdoms. They must be brought back into reality or be isolated in facilities that can keep them under guard, will tell them they are safe spaces.

    Valerie in reply to Albigensian. | February 24, 2018 at 9:21 am

    Yes, but the real problem here is the administrators. What are they using for brains?

notamemberofanyorganizedpolicital | February 23, 2018 at 4:28 pm

Re: ” you have to wonder what the heck they’re teaching if high school students don’t recognize a square root symbol”

I can guarantee you the public schools aren’t teaching math and are not teaching reading or grammar.

It’s difficult to believe that many, if not most of these school administrators hold advanced degrees in something. They have all the common sense that God gave a tree.

    notamemberofanyorganizedpolicital in reply to Romey. | February 23, 2018 at 4:51 pm

    I believe most of them hold “degrees in education” from teachers’ schools. Which of course are as worthless as journalism degrees….

notamemberofanyorganizedpolicital | February 23, 2018 at 4:53 pm

More from the “You Just Can’t Believe It” files…..
(hat tip to GayPatriot blog)

“Seattle Residents Complained About A ‘Confederate Flag.’ It Was Actually The Flag Of Norway.”

“Suddenly there is a Confederate flag flying in front of a house in my Greenwood neighborhood.”

“The school board created a new policy to deal with talk of guns and shootings. If a student is even accused of talking about either they’ll be investigated by the sheriff’s department, the school board, and the DA.”

Unless, of course, the ‘talk of guns’ is about banning them. That’s OK. Even encouraged.

… but he says he’s doing what it takes to get the best results.

That there is the delusion at the heart of all Liberalism—the idea that all this mindless excitement actually gets any results at all.

notamemberofanyorganizedpolicital | February 23, 2018 at 4:54 pm

And from Jerry Brown as………..


    Seems logically consistent with the fact that it’s illegal to film the abuse of animals at agriculture sites.


    You might as well claim that I am not allowed to shoot back if there is a train robbery on my commuter train since I don’t have a permit to carry.

    BTW, according to the Sacramento Bee: “The new law provides exemptions for shooting sports, certified hunter education or other activities sanctioned by a school district or university.

    Law enforcement, security guards, military personnel and armored vehicle guards remain exempt from the ban on guns.”

    Didn’t a security guard actually do his job in a CA school and foil a threat? A student made a threat and his brother had two assault rifles, 90 high-capacity magazines and other handguns in their home. They shouldn’t have arrested him. They should have signed him up for the lifetime NRA membership!

    Ironically, up until Feb 21, the brother was a ‘good guy with a gun’. One of the rifles wasn’t registered. In CA that is a felony. But you guys hate registration. So perhaps in your state you would have had to wait for the fireworks to go off and then blamed it on a George Soros ‘crisis actor’.

    Liberal Hollywood must surely have an Oscar for ‘crisis actor’.

I bet the cops didn’t even hide in the bushes for 4 minutes before investigating the drawing.

Lesson of the day? Never help classmates. Never go out of your way to do anything kind. Don’t be a good Samaritan. You only expose you and your family to financial harm via unscrupulous lawyers, petty leo’s and vindictive local bureaucrats.

Hey, don’t shoot the messanger. It’s not my fault that lawyers and their brothers in black robes have sucked the marrow of neighborly kinship from the bones of our communities.

Have A Nice Day! : >)

in a case like this, it seems pretty clear

No such thing since the NRA started coming up with twisted rationalizations

Just think: A few days ago Scott Peterson was a ‘good guy with a gun’. Then with the benefit of hindsight (meaning after the theory that an armed guard would deter a shooting was a dud), Scott Peterson is a bum. But the theory lives on.

Maybe this red state should have their teachers spend their time teaching math and not switch to ‘active shooter training’. They rank 49th in math.

I see at least a couple of guys are deep into contortions to blame liberals for this. Guys, somewhere in the bible it says ‘the truth will set you free’. Why don’t you try it?

The clock is ticking until the next atrocity. But have no worries. The state will be blue or the town or the neighborhood or the shooter or the victim or the sky.

    I know this is tough to comprehend for a guy who proudly decrees himself “yellow”, but:

    “coward” “good guy”

      Paul in reply to Paul. | February 23, 2018 at 6:19 pm

      crappy WordPress… that post was supposed to have the “not equal” sign between “coward” and “good guy”

      YellowSnake in reply to Paul. | February 23, 2018 at 7:46 pm

      FYI: The Yellow was for yellow-snake-in-chief (a reference to his bleached hair color), venom, and forked tongue personality. I keep meaning to take a new moniker. But if the best you have is to call me yellow, I will live with it since you don’t know me.

      You do realize that DJT has already changed his position a few times on this issue. Why did he suddenly bring up bump-stocks? Well he had to come up with something to say to the students. Apparently his notes offered him nothing.

      I do like the increased age limit. Since setting a age requirement is legal, we ought to set it @ 99. That might stop an activist SCOTUS from reinterpreting the 2nd Amendment like they did when they dropped the ‘well regulated militia nonsense’. /sarcasm

        Did you know that if you’re younger than 45 you are in the militia?

          YellowSnake in reply to Paul. | February 23, 2018 at 11:13 pm

          That still leaves out a lot of people. Eh? There are other inconsistencies I could quibble with, but why bother. The decision has been made.

          My point was that it was an activist ruling. I will add that it is not the 1st time in the history of this republic that a conservative, activist court has changed the law.

        Oh LOOK. It’s Yellow-Troll. Hi Yellow-Troll.

        Are you done misrepresenting what the SCOTUS said in regard to firearms? We know you’re bad at argument. Perhaps you can get better at reading comprehension of SCOTUS rulings?

          YellowSnake in reply to Chuck Skinner. | February 23, 2018 at 11:21 pm

          I like when any of you call me ‘yellow’ or a ‘troll’. It says that you have nothing. No argument; not wit; no originality

          I like that the reading comprehension comment seems to have gotten under your skin, but I would like it even better if you had the skills to actually engage in argument. But you are wise to stick insults. Don’t confuse that with being wise.

    A comintern quoting the bible. Hilarious. What next? Will you be walking on water for the cocktail show? What would Jesus do? Will the Jedi Strike Back now that they’re led by a Strong Woman instead of whiny beta male Luke? Your thoughts about the Best Superhero Movie Ever; Black Panther?

Do yourself a favour and watch this.

I’d better point out that the above link is to a Youtube clip called ‘Modern Educayshun’, not an add. This crew do some great stuff.

The super-sensitizing of people is working as planned. Soon people will act like zombies. Being afraid to speak or look at people for fear of getting accused of some “micro-aggression” perceived by one of these snowflakes.

Schools are definitely on edge. A Los Angeles school, Westlake-Harvard, was closed when an ex-NFL player posted something threatening on their instagram. (Story is in the LA times).

Here in my little town called Beverly Hills, there was also a threat at our high school, and I got not one but two emails, one from the superintendent and one from the police chief, saying they had investigated it (via contacting 100+ different parents & students!) and determined it wasn’t credible. I think this is just the way it is for now.

It has happened again!! How long before we do something!! Prayers are not enough!!! We must unite to protect the children and citizens from the most dangerous killing machines on the planet.

Common sense automobile control NOW! Prosecute anyone who allows a teenager to get their hands on a set of keys. They should be allowed nowhere near a school!!! Mentally ill must be restricted! Anyone who has ever been angry in traffic could mass murder innocents!

Our children are dying! We can no longer accept the car/nage.

    YellowSnake in reply to elle. | February 23, 2018 at 8:12 pm

    Why don’t we start with the item most likely to cause intentional physical harm?

    BTW, I personally know of a case where a guy took the lanyard for the kill switch on a jet ski off his wrist and left his 4-year old it while it was idling. The 4-year old must have hit forward. It jumped up on to a dock and crushed a family member. She was killed instantly. Should there be consequences or do we all just move on because jet skis are fun?

      I am confused? Are you saying you only care that millions die each year (crushed, burned, spine broken if the accident was intentional?
      Are you mocking the idea that tens of thousands of people die horrible deaths because we don’t have adequate controls on access to automobiles? How heartless you are.

        YellowSnake in reply to elle. | February 24, 2018 at 12:16 am

        If the act is intentional, it is not an accident. Ouch!

        So I guess I am mocking you mocking me.

        I am sad that you don’t have much regard for humans; just fetuses (I would guess).

        It is also sad that within your mocking post there are serious issues. But you are not serious even when you are serious.

        You guys make such a thing about commies. But ideology is just ideology. The same people go from one to the next without ever bothering to think for themselves.

        Cue the website antibodies

          If care so much about living people killed unnecessarily, then why do you make jokes like, “do we all just move on because jet skis are fun?” What a callous, HORRIBLE thing to say to those who have lost loved ones due to inadequate controls over cars…probably most readers on this board know someone touched by car deaths.

          You say, “Why don’t we start with the item most likely to cause intentional physical harm?” And I agree with you completely! I’m sure you read how many people were purposely run over by cars last year! It is intentional to drink and drive or to speed! The numbers are staggering!

          I just want to enlighten you, since you seem stuck in the dark ages about the dangers of cars. Far more people were killed by parents who failed to control car keys than who failed to control guns. How many died due to a mentally ill person unfit behind the wheel? Road rage much?

          You should join me in insisting that focus of resources should be on Car Control First!

Cue Twilight Zone theme.

A talismanical epistemology has escaped from the academy and is spreading like a virus throughout the public discourse. I would think forcing the academy to repay all student loans is a reasonable first step to correcting the damage it has done.

DouglasJBender | February 23, 2018 at 8:09 pm

The FBI and local law-enforcement recently detained and interrogated a high-school Mathematics teacher for sending out an email that many students, parents, and school administrators felt was threatening. The subject line read, “Mad Math kills”. After interviewing the Mathematics teacher, it was determined he was guilty of a typo — the subject line was intended to read, “Mad Math Skills”, and the email was about a new course he was offering that dealt with applying math to solve real-world problems. Apparently, no one bothered to read the email itself.

{This work of fiction brought to you by boredom, and an insane gun-control climate.}

Math is a tool of the patriarchy. Or something.

And the lefts continual demonization of guns will pay off in the long run.
I can’t fathom how scared and stupid this country has become with the crap the liberals have been pushing forever.

    elle in reply to 4fun. | February 23, 2018 at 10:53 pm

    Gun sales are through the roof and with every call for gun control they go higher. The idea of “campus carry” is passing and spreading. Trump just scored points by talking about arming teachers and I suspect that will move the needle in that direction, as parents are afraid.

      YellowSnake in reply to elle. | February 24, 2018 at 12:22 am

      And they still will be after the next atrocity and the one after that. You are winning!

      Make sure to give the mourners your hopes and prayers.

        This from a guy who makes jokes about people getting crushed by jet skis when I point out how important it is that we protect the living by getting better car control?

        I believe arming teachers could save lives. Yet you are callous to on car atrocity and the ones after that. As I typed, globally, hundreds of people died in car accidents.

        Make sure to give those mourners your hopes and prayers.

I don’t see the gun thing – but I do see a chart of the economy of just about when obama was booted out of the White House and Trump moved in.

“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.”

So much for an open discussion … oh well … c’est la vie …

We have a whole lot of adults playing “F*ck the System” in order to harm our children.

In industrial instrumentation flow is measured by various devices that impede flow at predetermined standard rates that are converted to linear signals by other devices call square root extractors. A common joke is to say someone is so ignorant of instrumentation that he thinks square root extractors are dental tools.

So the police searched the student’s home and found….
….weapons of math instruction.

Off to Gitmo!