OVERLAND PARK, Kan. (CBSNewYork) – A young girl in a Kansas middle school was reportedly handcuffed, arrested, and charged with a felony – for pointing her fingers in the shape of a gun.
According to multiple reports, the student was in class at Westridge Middle School in Overland Park when the 12 or 13 year-old allegedly pointed at several classmates using the “finger gun” gesture.
“Because of that gesture… the girl was sent to Principal Jeremy McDonnell’s office, and the other students involved were also talked to. The school resource officer recommended that she be arrested,” The Kansas City Star reported.
According to CBS-affiliate WTTV, no actual weapon was found on the young girl.
Police still charged the student with making a criminal threat to do harm to another person.
The gun gesture reportedly violated the school district’s policy of intimidating and bullying however, the child’s relatives say a felony arrest for pointing your fingers took things way too far.
“I think that this is something that probably could have been handled in the principal’s office and got completely out of hand,” Jon Cavanaugh, the girl’s grandfather told The Kansas City Star.
Johnson County District Attorney Steve Howe defended the decision to arrest the middle school student to local media outlets, citing the deadly shooting in Parkland, Florida that killed 17 people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School last year.
“I think law enforcement and schools understand that we need to address bad behavior,” Howe said via WTTV.
The child is reportedly going to have a closed hearing in juvenile court in the coming weeks.