12-Year-Old Girl Charged With Felony For Pointing Finger Gun At Classmates

A 12-year-old girl in Kansas has been charged with felony threatening for pointing a finger gun at several classmates.

Overland Park, KS – A 12-year-old girl who pointed a finger gun at several classmates at Westridge Middle School has been charged with a felony.

The incident occurred during a class discussion on Sept. 18, a source familiar with the details told The Kansas City Star.

Another student asked the girl who she would kill if she could kill five people in their class, and the girl responded by shooting them with a finger pistol, one at a time, before she turned her finger pistol on herself.

The teacher sent the 12 year old to the principal’s office for discipline, and the school resource officer recommended that the girl be arrested, according to The Kansas City Star.

The girl was detained by police and then released into her mother’s custody.

She is due in court on Tuesday to face felony threatening charges, The Kansas City Star reported.

Johnson County charging documents showed prosecutors believe the 12 year old “unlawfully and feloniously communicated a threat to commit violence, with the intent to place another, in fear, or with the intent to cause the evacuation, lock down or disruption in regular, ongoing activities …” when she pointed her finger gun at classmates.

Critics have said the arrest and charges are overkill for a finger gun gesture.

“I think that this is something that probably could have been handled in the principal’s office and got completely out of hand,” the girl’s grandfather, Jon Cavanaugh, told The Kansas City Star.

The girl is now living with Cavanaugh in California.

He said his granddaughter didn’t have access to a real gun and had no desire to hurt anyone, The Kansas City Star reported.

“She was just mouthing off,” Cavanaugh said.

The school was quick to point the finger at the Overland Park Police Department and said they had nothing to do with the child’s arrest, according to The Kansas City Star.

“We don’t do that,” Shawnee Mission School District Spokesman David Smith said. “That is not our job.”

Smith said that pointing a finger pistol likely violated the school district’s policies against intimidation and bullying, The Kansas City Star reported.

“I might not have anything in my hand but I might be so clear that the individual definitely feels threatened,” he explained.

Shawnee Mission defines intimidation as “any intentional written, verbal, electronic, or physical act or threat which is severe, persistent and pervasive enough that it may be expected to: Harm a student or damage a student’s property. Create fear of harm to a student or fear of damage to a student’s property. Interferes with a student’s education or participation in a school-sponsored activity or event. Create an intimidating or threatening educational environment,” according to The Kansas City Star.

The Shawnee Mission district has been on high alert since two students at Hocker Grove Middle School brought guns to school in their backpacks in September, The Kansas City Star reported.

Both boys were charged with misdemeanor juvenile in possession of a firearm, which carries a possible sentence of up one year in jail and/or a fine of up to $2,500.

Their crime of bringing a real gun to school only becomes a felony if they commit the same crime a second time, The Kansas City Star reported.

But pointing a finger gun is a felony because it’s considered “threatening.”

“I’m really worried about my granddaughter’s future,” Cavanaugh told The Kansas City Star.

He said he has been warned that the 12 year old could face up to a year in juvenile detention for the hand gesture.

Comments (107)
No. 1-44
flybynight
flybynight

What model 9mm was that? Or was it a 38? Asking for a friend.

joffa
joffa

Will they disarm her before she appears in court?

LEO0301
LEO0301

She is a child who would be better off with counselling than being arrested for a felony, which is overcharging craziness. What is most surprising is that this didn't occur in California or New York.

Excalibr4
Excalibr4

So the guys that brought real loaded weapons to school have to do it twice before it's a felony, but the girl who pointed her FINGER gets slapped with a felony, because it was considered "threatening"? This is stupidity on wheels!

Navy
Navy

Ridiculous! Common sense in short supply here.

DNW
DNW

But they ASKED her! It was part of a discussion, according to the article, not her own initiative.

DocRyder
DocRyder

Anyone so mortally threatened by a 12 year old girl pointing a finger at them really needs to consider intervention. Any cop who feels such a thing rises to the level of a felony, really needs to reconsider their career choice. This is absolute insanity and every adult involved and I mean every one of them, should be fired and banned from working with children for ever. There should also be consideration given to charging these nitwits with harassing this child. Have adults completely lost all ability for reasoned action in dealing with a child?

walkintall
walkintall

I don't understand why the teacher in question didn't simply say "Knock that stupid shit off", and then call it a day.

Judy Soward
Judy Soward

She was stopped. She might have really followed through with her threat. If others don't like it hope they or family are never exposed to a shooter

Pharmacy Phil
Pharmacy Phil

Political correctness gone awry. Idiot school officials and idiot cops. Kid needs to be in afternoon detention not tried for a felony. Moronic over-reaction.Meanwhile kids who actually shoot other kids in Chicago luterally get a slap on the wrist. This girl lives in the wrong town.

Texaslawman
Texaslawman

She did not make a threat. She was asked a question and responded. The SRO should be reassigned if not fired for incompetence.

Jim H. - Virginia US
Jim H. - Virginia US

She's 12 (or 13) and was asked whom she would shoot.

To go "bang bang bang" with one's finger is obviously not even a misdemeanor. It's not a crime; it's being silly. Just picture her blowing the imaginary smoke off of her gun after she was done, just like entertainers or youtube "sensations" she mimicked would do.

It was probably intended to be humorous/edgy.

dcoskrey
dcoskrey

I think the teacher bears some responsibility here. She should have immediately put the brakes on the discussion when the other kid asked who she would kill if she could kill five people in the class. That's not at all an appropriate discussion to have, for many reasons. Sadly I think the finger pointing thing should be taken seriously as a potential threat in this day and age, when a 12 year old is involved. It's not like a couple of 5 year old's playing cops and robbers. BUT … what good is served by charging a 12 year old with a felony? That's ridiculous. She needs to be counseled as other have said. Maybe she needs to go to juvie or something. But not be charged with a felony.

T00R
T00R

So I guess flipping your middle finger is considered rape? Same stupid, different finger.

Vodkabreakfast
Vodkabreakfast

Considering what qualifies as a felony, I feel that I would perhaps qualify for an instant life sentence - I’m always directing my middle finger at people and I guarantee there is a vast list of people that I’m convinced deserve a bullet.

GetReal.
GetReal.

Another example of extremist political indoctrination in our Schools. Sad as it is.

Ofcr.Tammy
Ofcr.Tammy

On the surface though it does seem like a exaggerated application of the law,

Context in this case explains exactly why the felony charge is applicable & justified.

"Another student asked the girl who she would kill if she could kill five people in their class, and the girl responded by shooting them with a finger pistol, one at a time, before she turned her finger pistol on herself."

The girl made 4 clear threats & the fifth was towards herself.

When school shootings are way of life, a threat must be dealt in accordance with the law.

Parents are responsible to educate their children about guns even if they don't own them, so as to avoid this very situation.

& this case is not unique.

So to refresh, the girl made 5 threats, as per the law of the school.

If the girls guardians feel its excessive, they can go before a judge with a lawyer,

or wait till she is 18 to have her record expunged,

Till then, stay out of trouble & study hard, is the best advice she can get.

BarbMomof5
BarbMomof5

Considering the number of school shootings and how these kids have been able to get guns I feel that the punishment is justified. Hopefully this will be the Wake Up call that this girl desperately needs. Her grandfather and parents need to take this as the indicator that they need to step up on their parenting skills.

Artzilla
Artzilla

Based on this case I want Maxine Waters arrested and charged with feeling threatening immediately!

This is not stupid. It's insidious. Every single person involved in this foolish reaction to the girls finger should be deeply investigated as to their associations with foreign governments and possible seditious or treasonous behavior! This kind of stupidity is designed to teach kids that they have no rights and no freedom!

Bigyoda20
Bigyoda20

Absolute stupidity.

Copfamily
Copfamily

People: great discussion. But look, this is probably a kid who is not too popular, probably has experienced conflict with her classmates and is know to be easy to rile up. Sounds like this was not a sanctioned classroom discussion but more a "cool" kid goading a more of a loner (and perhaps lonely ) into a condemning statement. How about some discipline to the initiator of the conversation...seems to have escaped any attention. While all threats should be considered, vulnerable kids should be helped lest they reach the point of no return . Now she doubles-down on her depression/anger/sadness, or whatever and the problem grows.

Burgers Allday
Burgers Allday

Time to remove all guns from her parents' / guardians' home. That would be more helpful than a felony arrest here. Doubt the felony charge will stick, but at least there was more probable cause for arrest here than in the recently reported case where they arrested a kid for threats based on his (presumably secret) journal.

RPG156
RPG156

Stupidity is an overreaction to intelligence.

BoboLU
BoboLU

The child obviously needs help. She needs to be sent to counseling and not the school counselor. She needs to go to a mental health professional There are some deep rooted issues there that need to be addressed. I would also look for a journal (paper and online) she has to keep her thoughts and feelings somewhere. She will be resistant at first and it may take a while to get to the root of her problems, but please stay persistent and help this child.

vwiles34
vwiles34

She was simply answering a question that had been asked of her. The only part of this that warranted it going past the classroom was her gesturing she would then kill herself. But there was certainly no cause for an arrest, had she simply jumped up in class and done this on her own maybe. But even then to charge a 12 year old with a felony for pointing their finger when kids who bring real guns have to do it twice is crazy. I guess we have to be careful about how we answer peoples questions now or we may find ourselves doing hard time.

03Crayon Eater41
03Crayon Eater41

99% of all LEOs in here have arrested someone for "communicating a threat".

I have been falsely arrested and cleared of "communicating a threat".

Carrying a gun is a misdemeanor. Threatening to kill someone is a felony.

Stop applying age to a criminal. That lets your pussies and feelings get in the way.

Maybe some of you inbred fucks should be going HAM on the parents who teach their child that threatening others is civil and appropriate.

This is what makes you hypocrites. You want people to be kind, yet when people break the law and act irresponsible to the detriment to others, you claim the system is broken and UNFAIR.

She is 12. She will be sent to guided counseling and pay legal fees. The parents are the problem here, as can clearly be seen by the grandparents behaving in the same manner. This is another case of Americans not parenting their children. Period

Has this girl brought a gun the next day and killed those children and herself, all of you who thought you had something to say would be bitching and complaining that the school did nothing with these evident threats.

Stop being hypocrites and accept the hand you've dealt yourselves.

Twhiting9275
Twhiting9275

Context is key here people. Get ALL the facts, then make the decisions yourself. Don't just rely on one blog (not a news site) for information, do independent research on multiple sites, then actually form a proper opinion.

If most did this today, they'd be in a much better place, instead of arguing like little trolls all over the interwebs..

Fact #1: This child had caused problems before Fact #2: This child had threatened children in the classroom (pointing a gun at them, then herself) Fact #3: Because of both #1 and #2, children contacted the school, expressing genuine fear.

NOT doing anything would have been the wrong approach. Clearly, what they HAD done, in the past (see #1) didn't work either. So, it comes down to having to address the issue with legal authorities.

Unfortunately, this child's parents clearly DGAS , or they would have stopped this earlier on. So, now, she waits with grandpa in CA, who probably can't handle her either.

Libssuck72
Libssuck72

Wait wait wait.....so a real fricken gun is a misdemeanor but a finger is a goddamn felony?!?! Wtf is wrong with u people?

Raymelson
Raymelson

Who ever decided to charge this kid with a felony is bat shit crazy

Libssuck72
Libssuck72

Say goodbye to your freedom! They want our guns..our social security..freedom of speech and it just keeps getting worse. Keep voting for socialist demorats. The jack booted nazi ass cops that charged this young gurl with a felony for finger pointing are bigger p.o.s. than i can express! Red flag laws..Beto o' Rourke...Pelosi..Anteefa...sorry ANQUEEFA...COMMIFORNIA.Wtf has happened to my country! STAND NOW OR FALL FOREVER! FEMA CAMPS COMING SOON.

IseeWhereThisIsGoing
IseeWhereThisIsGoing

So, umm, what happens when they don't arrest her, but suspend her for 5 days, and then when she returns, she brings a real gun and starts shooting classmates? The response of "no one could have seen this happening!!!" really can't be used. And in today's society, actions should have consequences (even when 12 year olds are mouthing off)

Oh, and for the two guys who brought real guns with them to school, did they point them at anyone? Did they say they were going to shoot anyone? that's the difference, there was no overt threat made.

Gridiron
Gridiron

So nothing happens to the student who asked her who she would kill if she could kill 5 kids in the class. Why is that being discussed in the classroom?

61mouse
61mouse

❄❄❄❄❄

joffa
joffa

What's next, background checks? If you fail your fingers will be removed.

cbtry
cbtry

I feel threaten every time someone flips me the bird .😂

GBLM
GBLM

"Barb"---This is a 12 yrs old KID. I'm FAR more concerned that your mentality exists, and your thoughts ARE a clear and present danger to our country as originally proposed. Read our Founding Fathers. I'm giving you a piece below, and I hope for your & everyone's sake, it penetrates. Read: THEY DESPISE OUR RIGHTS--- WHICH ARE AN OBSTRUCTION TO COPS.

It's even more serious--- the assault on the kid/parents, and YOURSELF by Cops & Statists, who hate your Rights.

Shawnee Mission School District spokesperson David Smith": This behavior by the Communist//Socialist INSPIRED left does the exact opposite of what they SAY they intend. Now they frighten ALL of our chiildren/parents to death, ---- It's Of the Cops. Do a survey, and you'l find the fear and distrust of these corrupt humans in 'Blue', at 70-80% of the population, and about 90-100% of the kids. They now frighten ALL & Most of us to the Core. This is a prelude to their final jack-booted efforts--- Again, Of & By the Cops & Judges behind them. Read "the Top 100 quotes of Thomas Jefferson", and you will understand the proper perspective to have of the "STATE" and its' Enforcers. He/TJ Loathed these people as he understood how Anti- Constitutional they ALL are & how THROUGHLY DANGEROUS they all are. They certainly have NO interest in a moderate society that Actually has an interest in OUR Children. They have No interest in the stupid things kids do, and to Amping up a police state mentality, ---------Under the Guise of Safety, most of which Violates our Bill of Rights. Notice how they NEVER tell you your rights? They ONLY want to manipulate and terrorize us.

DONATE to their family for their legal defense, as I'm sure they probably have nothing. Help them set up a site for that against these creeps. Understand that this ACTION of theirs, is a shot across YOUR BOW. Help THEM!! ALSO, FIRE, and/or do a Recall election on ALL the Decision Makers. Protect each other and fight the Bureaucratic thugs with the knives at your throats & by the corrupt police and their cronies in the bureaucracy and government elected positions. They pick your pockets constantly with their "Laws". [TJefferson--"Bad Laws ARE NOT to be Obeyed", why would a Founder of his intellect say this?] Destroy them any way you can----as THEY will do that to you, individually or en masse in any way they think they can get away with. This is common across the US now, as you know. The police & legal system views everything through anti-constitutional lenses, and you, the believers in our Constitutional safeguards, as often terrorists, and "obstructionist" to THEIR efforts--- if you use Your rights to PROTECT YOURSELF Against Them. Common Knowledge. GET TO WORK, NOW!! Please change.

Popcop.M1
Popcop.M1

It's not political correctness, its the 4th Reich, and we're living it here, in the former United States of America.

JDub
JDub

I've been a pediatric psych and chem dep nurse for almost 30 years. I see teens "throw" gang signs frequently, all of them much more violent than this. BUT, they are in the arms of the Department of Human Services or the Juvenile authorities and nothing is done. We're actually told it's part of their culture. Had she been a minority and wearing gang colors... wouldn't even have been mentioned.

shayrae
shayrae

"The school was quick to 'point the finger' at the Overland Park Police Department and said they had nothing to do with the child’s arrest, according to The Kansas City Star." Anyone else see the irony in this statement?

Valentin1975
Valentin1975

Poor girl! The teacher, principal, cop and judge are fucking retarded morons in fact nowadays everyone is becoming retarded!

JDS
JDS

Can this country get any gayer?

BullStuff
BullStuff

So... are they afraid of what would happened if she pulled the trigger on her finger pistol? That sounds so scary, something could fly out of a finger and really do some damage. Those poor innocent kids must of been so scared that her finger was going to hurt them while her hand was in the shape of an "L". Losers

BlueOceanOne
BlueOceanOne

"Another student asked the girl who she would kill if she could kill five people in their class..." And nothing happened to the kid asking the question???? Why??? That kid worries me more that the finger pointer.

LocalLan
LocalLan

Interestingly, other comments talk about referencing other sources and that the 13 yo girl was a bully.... However, they don't cite their sources for this information.

I looked at local sources like the Kansas City Star and found "Her mother told The Star that the girl had been bullied for months by some of the classmates who provoked the incident. One time she was punched in the face on a school bus; another time she was left sobbing in the lunchroom, her mother said."

Sounds like she was being bullied, not the bully. I wonder if the boy (the Star said it was a boy student) who asked her who she would kill has been questioned and observed CLOSELY. Is he one of the students who has been bullying her? If any child of mine asked another student such a DISTURBING question, I know I'd be on top of him asking why he would say such a thing.

It's also been reported that multiple students contacted the school saying they felt threatened; however, according to the Star and the Omaha World-Harold, it was just one student. And I have to wonder if it was one of her bullies. Children have lied about things before -- like claiming to have been raped by teachers. In these times, I'm now wondering if this is just another way to bully another child by pushing them to do something overt and then "claiming" to be afraid of them? I definitely feel that she needs counseling and help, but am still FAR from convinced that she was a bully and threatening others. I think she felt helpless and fearful herself and was provoked into doing something that was unwise, but then she is only 13.