“The parents of a 9-year-old girl [Amina Kocer-Bowman above] who was accidentally shot in a Bremerton classroom in February have filed a $10 million claim against the Bremerton School District as well as a lawsuit against the family of the boy who brought the gun to school,” seattletimes.com reports. “According to the lawsuit, the boy told police he’d brought the gun to school to protect himself from bullies. He said he’d gotten it while visiting his mother . . .
The boy was living with his uncle, who is his legal guardian, and his father at the time of the shooting, but he had visited his mother, Jamie Lee Chaffin, 34, and her boyfriend Douglas L. Bauer, 50, at their Allyn-area home where police said there were several loaded, unlocked weapons lying in open view.
Chaffin and Bauer were charged with assault for what prosecutors described as their negligence in leaving the loaded gun where the boy could find it.
And here’s the kicker:
In a plea deal, Chaffin, a felon, pleaded guilty to two counts of unlawful possession of a firearm and prosecutors dropped the third-degree felony assault charge. She has not been sentenced.
Bauer pleaded not guilty to assault and unlawful weapons possession and is awaiting trial.
And here’s the other kicker:
According to the claim against the school district, the boy who brought the gun to school had been acting out and fighting. The claim also says the boy had told several other children he planned to bring a gun to school.
“It wasn’t a surprise he had a handgun at school,” Campiche said. “He had announced his intentions to bring a gun to the school to a number of people. Unfortunately the people who are responsible for the safety of the school did not have a system in place that picked that up.”
A system like, I dunno, telling a teacher?
While it would be easy to dismiss this story—due to the fact that the boy got the gun from a felon—I doubt the outcome would have been any different if he’d taken the gun from law-abiding parents. Something to think about.
And while we’re at it, it might be worth having a word with your kids about what to do if they hear similar statements from a classmate.
Also worth considering: what’s to stop a kid from lying to a teacher, claiming a classmate’s got a gun? If the school administration is hysterically anti-gun and takes any firearms-related accusation at face value (“to be on the safe side”) all hell could break loose.
I bet dollars to donuts the cops would be at the accused child’s domicile in a New York minute. If it’s your kid that’s been smeared we could talking about your doorstep.
Another reason why a gun owner should never allow the police into his or her residence until and unless they have a search warrant. And keep all their guns under lock and key, no matter how much safety instruction they’ve given their children.