Call it a case of gun-hysteria on steroids. On Thursday, the Miami Herald reported that police were called after students at Oberlin High School in Oberlin, La., discussed a mathematical symbol — the square root sign, to be precise.
According to the Herald:
On the afternoon of Feb. 20, detectives investigated a report of terroristic threats at the school, where they learned that a student had been completing a math problem that required drawing the square-root sign.
Students in the group began commenting that the symbol, which represents a number that when multiplied by itself equals another number, looked like a gun.
According to the report, one student allegedly said something the sheriff’s office said could have sounded like a threat out of context — after other students made somewhat similar remarks.
Police searched the student’s home and found no guns and no evidence of any access to guns. Apparently, they found no rogue square root signs hiding out in the home as well and there was no indication the student intended anyone any harm.
“The student used extremely poor judgment in making the comment, but in light of the actual circumstances, there was clearly no evidence to support criminal charges,” the department said, adding that the local school board had been contacted to determine any disciplinary action for the student, the report stated.
The Herald added:
The mass shooting sparked a wave of reported threats against other schools across the country — threats that are still coming in by the day and have set local parents, students and emergency officials on high alert.
In the Miami area alone, school threats jumped from one a week to as many as 50 a day, the Miami Herald reported.
Still, many on social media thought the reaction to the “threat” in Oberlin was more than a little overblown.
Really? Someone thought about pursuing terrorist threat criminal charges because he said a radical (square root) sign LOOKED LIKE a gun?
…meanwhile, your next school shooter is thought of as a law-abiding gun owner right now.https://t.co/RdDyk0B0ds
— Andy Jakcsy (@IlGreven) February 22, 2018
Is this what things have come to?? ????
— Scott J. (@cajunsj) February 22, 2018
Is this real life??
— Will Chance (@wchance85) February 21, 2018
Some might say that is a “little radical”
— Lacey???? (@LaceyUp) February 22, 2018
Careful saying that in public — someone might call the police…
Y'all wanna ban math now? Nah, that'd be irrational.
— meddlin (@meddlin_dev) February 22, 2018
But sadly, that’s where we’re heading as a country…
The student is awaiting an expulsion hearing and the school district has made some changes to its policies, according to a post at Reason:
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, [Superintendent Michael] 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.
Here’s a video report of the incident:
Exit question: Will CNN hold a town hall on square root symbols?
- Parents to demand changes in laws naming schools ‘No gun zones’ with cease and desist orders — Report
- Florida shooting hero Colton Haab names CNN producer who said he needed to “stick to the script”
- NRA’s LaPierre at CPAC: ‘Country under siege from media carpet bombing’
- Florida Sheriff Calls for Armed School Staff, Removal of Gun Free Zones
- Mass Shooting in New Orleans in Gun Free Zone
And if you’re as concerned about online censorship as we are, go here and order this book: