The Village of Shorewood Hills, Wisconsin is an upscale bedroom community on the shore of Lake Mendota, surrounded by Madison and the University of Wisconsin. On February 23, Jonathan M. Fitzgerald demonstrated his parental concern for the safety of his child to his child’s teacher and administrators. He has been arrested and banned from the school for his trouble.
Fitzgerald, a 35-year-old Ph.D candidate in molecular and cellular pharmacology, was buzzed into the school and calmly walked to his child’s classroom. There, he handed a piece of cardboard with the word “gun” written on it to his child’s teacher.
A staff member followed Fitzgerald as he went down the hall to the classroom his child was in, Chapin said.
“Fitzgerald made statements to the teacher in the room about being an intruder who was allowed access to the school and gave the teacher a piece of cardboard with the word ‘gun’ on it,” (Shorewood Hills Police Chief Aaron) Chapin said.
Chapin said Fitzgerald left the classroom and went to the administrative office where he made similar statements and handed staff another piece of cardboard with “gun” written on it, then left the school building.
The report states that the police understand that there was no threat made or intended to the school or public. But the concerned father was arrested on a “tentative charge of disorderly conduct” anyway. Fitzgerald is reportedly cooperating with police.
It should be obvious to most readers that Mr. Fitzgerald was attempting to demonstrate how easily an intruder could enter the school with an actual firearm and access children in a classroom. It was done in perhaps the least intrusive way possible to make a physical demonstration.
School district authorities, however, didn’t appreciate Fitzgerald’s demonstration of the weaknesses in their security system.
I hope Mr. Fitzgerald isn’t booted from his Ph.D program for his display of parental concern. The university is reportedly “gathering more information.”
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