Two principals in widely separated states tried to use police against parents with gun permits. The good news: both principals ended up on the losing side when the parents refused to fold and took them to court. In the most recent case, the principal at Stratton Elementary School in Arlington, Massachusetts contacted police after the father showed the principal his gun permit. Not his gun…his permit. The father had come to talk to the principal about a drawing the son had made . . .

From whdh.com:

The principal said the boy had drawn a phallic symbol, but 40-year-old Robert Goodwin said his son had actually drawn a gun similar to one he’d seen in ‘Despicable Me.’

Goodwin then reportedly took out his gun permit and the principal notified police.

The police charged Goodwin with threatening the principal. And that wasnt all:

Officers later went to his home where they took away a hunting rifle; his gun license has also been suspended.

Under oath, the principal admitted that he did not feel threatened and the charges were dropped. There is no mention as to whether the rifle was returned or the gun permit restored.

By itself, this is a noteworthy story.  A principal using the police to harass a gun owner. It reminded me of another story out of Georgia that had a similar theme. The principal there had contacted the police to ban the parent in question from school because she had a picture of her carry permit on her Facebook page.

From ljreview.com:

In what I’d call a severe case of overreacting, Army veteran Tanya Mount was banned from her disabled daughter’s elementary school after she posted a photo of her concealed weapons permit online.

The mother, who often volunteered at the school, said she was approached by a police officer near campus one day and warned that Principal Janina Dallas had filed a “no trespass order” against Mount.

Tanya Mount transferred her daughter to a different school. The principal later claimed that the permit was not the reason for banning Ms. Mount from the school. A settlement was reached according to wrdw.com:

 Tanya Mount said she’ll receive $1,000 and an undisclosed amount for legal expenses.

Taken separately, these two cases might be dismissed as isolated incidents. Together they reinforce the idea of schools as intolerant, politically correct bastions of citizen disarmament orthodoxy. How many of these cases exist in which the victim with the permit didn’t have the courage or wherewithal to fight the system in the courts? How many of these cases never make the news because most police have more sense? I would appreciate any information about other cases.

©2014 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.
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63 Responses to School Principals Use Police Against Parents with Gun Permits

  1. How is this different from some twig boy being ascared of a larger man?
    Same nonsense.
    I’m sure that even while losing the peers of these twig boys and the ‘authority’ in question are all saying good boy and passing the kudos like the box is endless.

    • Why did the father show his gun permit? I don’t even show mine to the police. If they don’t ask for it, I don’t present it. One asked if I had one at the Detroit airport when the ticket agent was disallowing me from checking my ammo in magazines in a locked hard case which is allowed. The cop asked if I had a carry permit and I said yes but he did not ask to see it. They confiscated all 30 rounds of 9mm Federal premium. I was pissed off but ready to come home to America so I did not make a scene.

      • As the court transcript notes he was showing it to indicate why his child had a legitimate and legal knowledge of firearms due to his fathers own LEGAL ownership.

        The principal told police he felt threatened and then under oath said he in fact was not threatened in the least.

        Essentially the dad was saying his son knew what a gun looked like and had an interest because he, the dad, owned a gun. When the principal blanched and seemed panicked at the idea a person would have a gun, the dad showed the permit to show it was all legal and on the up and up. The principal then further panicked. it is in the court transcript on findlaw.

        • What an idiot. He showed his permit to prove the boy had a legitimate, legal knowledge of firearms? Bullshit! I thought the boy learned it watching movies. Not siding with the principal here but everyone involved in the story are idiots..

        • This principal lied to police by stating that he felt threatened and if I were one of the police officers involved I would arrest this principal for obstruction of justice filing a false police report and anything else that may stick.

  2. sorry, but people settle too cheaply. If I was in GA, I would have wanted $100k and the money to come from the principal

    • That was my first thought.

      100K is a nice, round number, I think that would remedy my mental anguish.

      • Equally important it would set precident, change tone and direction of the inexcusably stupid educational establishment.

        Let them fear attorneys and large settlements versus law abiding citizens and their guns.

        • But they already fear lawsuits, at least the school district does, that’s why they implemented all that zero tolerance stuff. I’d say that’s mainly because of terrible parents getting sue happy over stupid crap and insurance.

          I don’t know how this wouldn’t invoke a whole new set of unintended consequences.

    • Hey, she got her legal expenses back too, who knows what that amounted to? But yeah, $1000 is pretty small potatoes. Possibly something we don’t know made her case look less like a winner than we see here?

    • Sounds to me like the principal and the police conspired to illegally (admittedly!) deprive a US citizen of his civil rights. That’s a civil rights conspiracy under 18 U.S. Code § 241 – Conspiracy against rights.

      If two or more persons conspire to injure, oppress, threaten, or intimidate any person in any State, Territory, Commonwealth, Possession, or District in the free exercise or enjoyment of any right or privilege secured to him by the Constitution or laws of the United States, or because of his having so exercised the same; or …

      They shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both;

  3. Two of the most critical components of state power are the cops who provide state firepower and the “educators” who provide early indoctrination. It’s natural that they would collaborate to accomplish their mission.

    So one gun owner accepted a small payoff and the other is not suing at all. I guess that having faced two of the states’ most powerful instruments of oppression, they were not prepared to take on a third — the court system.

  4. That is an older permit in the photo. The current ones include the permit holder’s photo and are made from similar material as the driver’s license, unlike the older ones which were just laminated paper. The new ones also cost $30 or $40 more.

    • The court that issues ours is on a business card stock. Basic personal info and judge’s signature. Charge max amount allow by the Commonwealth, $50 for 5 years. But I will say far fewer hoops to jump though than most others write about to get one in their states. More like a DL or state ID card would be much nicer than having to get it laminated.

  5. Goodwin then reportedly took out his gun permit and the principal notified police.

    Notified the police of what? That he had a license? The article doesn’t say.

      • Goodwin’s son drew a picture that was supposed to be a gun. The principal accused the kid of drawing a penis. So of the two things the father could have whipped out to prove his point, I think he chose the correct one.

        • Turn on NickJr, watch the show Peppa Pig, observe very closely the shape of the pigs’ heads. I try real hard to keep my yap shut whilst granddaughter watches…

        • With all the news stories I’ve seen through the last couple decades or so about teachers behaving inappropriately I’m really tempted to make a joke about him getting suspended with pay if he made the other choice…

    • This was my thought too. Why would you show someone your Carry Permit, unless you are carrying, but it was in the school and this is something that isn’t allowed here in Texas, and it is a LEO asking to see it? Especially a school principal that you were just talking with. This makes no sense. The less people that know the better, in my opinion.

    • my guess to show he was a gun owner and his kid was just drawing what he saw his father had.
      that or he threatened to give the principal a paper cut

    • Sounds weird to me too, but it’s no one’s business why anyone does anything that isn’t a crime. Showing off your permit is absolutely not a crime.

      • It’s relevant since the principal said he was threatening him. That could be one reason for showing a gun permit.

        • That was my thinking–except the principal admitted he didn’t feel threatened.

  6. “The principal said the boy had drawn a phallic symbol,”

    That principal is one sick puppy! Virtually _anything_ elongated is a phallic symbol! Washington Monument, anyone? Atlas rocket? Pencil? “!”?

  7. Yes the principal NEEDS to have his NAME published & pay a hefty price. And who cares why he took out his permit? The jerk admitted he wasn’t threatened. Yeah I know “Massachusetts”.

  8. As an aside…would it have been that bad even if it was a phalic symbol? I mean…down around these parts, elementary school covers 1st-6th grade. If I remember my own troubled youth well, I think it was around 5th or 6th grade when I started noticing the more tender gender. Shouldn’t it been as simple as sending home a note saying “hey, just a heads up, but its getting ’bout that time?” and leave it at that.

    I mean, I know, parents raising their own kids. The horror.

  9. From ljreview.com:

    Army veteran Tanya Mount was banned from her disabled daughter’s elementary school after she posted a photo of her concealed weapons permit online.

    Why do people have this need to post anything or everything on the internet?
    What happened to “walk softly and carry a BIG stick!?

    • Potentially they are, but the principal simply called the cops, who escalated things from there. I don’t see a Sec. 1983 case against the brilliant “educator.”

      • I don’t see a Sec 1983 case against the police officer either. Because here in the United States of America – land of the free, home of the brave – That police officer could have tasered the man while urinating in his left nostril and the most he could do is whimper while the officer kicked him in the face and toted him off to jail on a multitude of charges. The officer could then take him behind the police station and shoot him in the chest while he resisted (even on camera) and make the claim it was an accidental shooting. Police protocol was followed at all times. The officer would then get suspension with pay (also known as a paid vacation), and that is the last you would hear about it.

  10. Everyone who is planning to sue for mistreatment by the police must get a competent attorney and sue for BIG BUCKS. Start with 8 or 900 MILLION. Work from there. Offer the attorney BIG bucks to do job right.

    • Also, be sure to name the individual officers and their supervisors and department heads by name and badge number, and make them pay the damages out of their pocket!

  11. Wow. Your tax dollars at work. A no trespass order? On a parent whose child goes to that school? Really?

    “The police charged Goodwin with threatening the principal… Under oath, the principal admitted that he did not feel threatened and the charges were dropped.”

    Really? So which one (the principal or the police) should face punishment for false arrest? Since when is a person arrested merely by saying they were “threatened”? I mean – with that anyone at all could be arrested for anything at all.

    • I wonder if we could get the anti gun people arrested because they threaten us? And I DO feel threatened. Even if I did lose all my guns in a boating accident.

  12. Helping teachers, school building principles and school district administrators learn about the proper use of their authority can be accomplished in the courts. It is can also be worthwhile to register your displeasure with your local school board, that includes being involved in local elections.

  13. The thing you have to understand about MA is that you need a license to OWN guns. A suspended or expired (it can take MONTHS to get a license renewed) LTC or FID means the state can confiscate your guns. Anyone who owns guns within 100 miles of MA needs to join GOAL (goal.org) because they keep the MA craziness in check.

  14. Going to a school just because of a drawing, I would not mention firearms, permits, or possession of firearms. If the police do not release the man’s firearms back to him, he should file a lawsuit against the principal. (IMO, another incident of support for home schooling). As far as suing the police, there are some states that only allow suing of the city, not the officer(s) or the individual department.

  15. OK, I’ve said it before, I’m going to keep saying it until it sinks in:

    Sending your child(ren) to a public school is parental malpractice. Period.

  16. While I was filing my tank in Bonner earlier today, there was a continuous small-bore racket coming from the area of the tacks just across the street – maybe a hundred feet away.

    Just teens and a pre-teen or two having fun with cans and jugs.

    The responsible adult on site teaches junior high science.

    I like living in the Free State…

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