Skip to comments.UK: Boy, 10, held for firing a toy weapon
Posted on 09/30/2005 11:03:44 AM PDT by kiriath_jearim
Boy, 10, held for firing a toy weapon Sep 29 2005
By Stephanie Turner
A YOUNG boy was arrested and put in a police cell for six hours after brandishing a £5 plastic toy gun in the playground of his Smallfield school.
Elaine Hampson, headteacher at Burstow School, in Wheelers Lane, contacted the police after the youngster fired the imitation weapon during a break.
He was later arrested because the pellet had hit another pupil.
Owen Smith has now been temporarily excluded from the school and a letter has been sent to all parents explaining the situation.
The boy's father, Roger Smith, 36, told the Horley Mirror that Mrs Hampson contacted him at work and said his 10-year-old son had brought a firearm into school.
The boy had pestered his dad so much that he eventually gave in and bought the pistol from a Horley toy shop, just three days before the incident.
Owen has suffered with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) since the age of five.
At present he takes no medicine for his condition, and that means his behaviour often can be erratic.
"He sneaked the gun into school like young boys do," said Mr Smith, of Smallfield Road.
"I explained to the head-teacher that it was a toy and that he shouldn't have it in school. I told her to take it off him and I would put it in the bin. She said that Owen had shot it at a child and the police were coming to arrest him."
Owen had fired one of the tiny plastic pellets from inside the gun and it hit a fellow pupil on his arm. A member of staff spotted the incident and the headteacher called for police assistance.
Mr Smith, a self-employed glazier, said: "I know that he shouldn't have done it but it didn't warrant what the school was doing.
"When I got the call I knew straight away what he had done. I thought I will go and tell him off, take the gun off him and get it sorted out."
But it was too late. When Owen's mum Melanie arrived at the school, a police car was already there and officers were set to cart the child off to the station.
Mrs Smith and her son were taken to the police station where Owen had his fingerprints and DNA taken before being put in to a cell.
Although the door remained open, his parents are angry that the youngster was forced to sit in the cell for a total of six hours.
He was eventually released and reprimanded.
Mr Smith said: "Owen couldn't believe what was happening. Everyone we tell is amazed by it.
"He was very upset at the police station. The police were being very serious and telling him to stay in a cell. I had to get a solicitor involved."
Mrs Smith, 32, is a nursery nurse and was called out of work to accompany her son to the police station.
She said: "Owen definitely shouldn't have taken the gun into school but we should have been called in to deal with it.
"I agree with him being excluded.
"He obviously has to learn but we could have taken the gun off him and punished him.
"It's so difficult to explain to someone about ADHD.
"Owen can be so impulsive. He would climb up a tree and not even think of the consequences."
A spokesman for Burstow School said: "There was an incident at the school and our priori-ty was the safety of other pupils and members of staff."
A police spokesman said that the weapon had been discharged numerous times during the morning break.
Superintendent Martin Parker said: "BB guns are not toys and even a low-powered weapon as used in this incident has the potential to seriously injure someone, particularly when there are young children involved.
"Thankfully no-one was badly hurt but we will [not] tolerate this kind of behaviour.
"At 10 years old a child is above the age of criminal responsibility and so a decision was made, with the full support of the school, to arrest the boy.
"ADHD is not an excuse to behave in this way and I would question why a child with these kinds of behavioural difficulties was allowed access to a BB gun in the first place.
"It is important for children to understand at a young age the consequences of their actions and our response should help set him some boundaries about what is acceptable and what isn't.
"When dealing with a 10-year-old child we will of course give them special consideration.
"He was dealt with as swiftly as possible.
"The door of his cell was left open and his mother was with him throughout.
"In total, he spent slightly more than four hours in custody and most of this was spent waiting for legal representation to arrive."
A TOY gun???
I'm relieved to know that it's not just American schools that are subject to this kind of ridiculousness. Well, sorta relieved...
Been there, done that when I was a kid too...didn't get arrested though, got my behind spanked good by my mom in the principles office and then by my dad when he got home. I wasn't stupid enough to shoot anyone though, just brought it to show my friends my new BB gun. Never saw it again either, I still remember the look my mom had on when my dad got home too, since he got it for me for my birthday.
"Owen has suffered with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) since the age of five."
Since when has acting like a boy become a disorder? I thought nearly all little kids had low attention spans and were hyperactive? It takes good parenting and learning self-discipline to mature, not medications that make our children into little zombies.
When the free world is completely taken over by a society who is NOT afraid to raise warriors, nobody complain.
Above the age of criminal responsibility?Above?? What heck does that mean? That he is too old for criminal responsibility? Or that he is superior to criminal responsibility, i.e. "Cesar's wife must be above suspicion." Either English-English really is different from American-English, or this was written by a lousy journalist and a worse editor.
Was it a toy or was it a pellet gun.
If a kid shot my kid with a pellet gun I would be pissed.
probaly wouldn't press charges if my kid wasn't hurt though.
You're lucky you didn't shoot your eye out.
Calling such a teacher a "girlie-man" is an insult to girlie-men.
Schadenfreude is the term you are looking for.
Exactly! In a generation, anyone with any gumption will have been medicated or psychoweenied to the point they will just shuffle along with the rest. God help us!
Age of criminal responsibility=minimum age you can be charged with a crime.
Hmmm . . . according to my Oxford English Dictionary, a "firearm" is "a weapon from which missiles are propelled by the combustion of gunpowder or other explosive."
If a teacher interrupted me at work to lie about my kid and get me all upset, I'd have her job.
It's a state school. I'm not surprised.
Sliding into dictatorship...
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