School’s overreaction to harmless costume follows disturbing trend

Adan Salazar
November 1, 2013

A Washington elementary school went into lockdown Thursday after a young woman, whose Halloween costume included a toy gun, walked in front of the school.

Toy gun prompts lockdown... again.
Toy gun prompts lockdown… again. / image via
The fake gun was apparently too realistic a replica of an AR-15 assault rifle, prompting a concerned passerby to phone officials at the Lewis and Clark Elementary School in Wenatchee.

The school responded by keeping students holed up from 2:30 to 3:15pm, according to Wenatchee World.

A subsequent search found the woman at her apartment where police reportedly scolded her.

“We told her that carrying a weapon like that was probably not the wisest of ideas,” Sgt. Jim West said.

The alarm over the toy gun follows in the tradition of schools across the nation who are overreacting with seemingly greater frequency to anything even remotely resembling a firearm.

Early this year, a Long Island school went into lockdown after someone phoned 911 saying they saw someone carrying a gun. A lime green and yellow Nerf gun was found after police arrived and searched every student, bag and locker.

As we have repeatedly documented, a fake gun need not even be present for school officials to freak out.

In January, a South Philadelphia elementary school student was threatened with suspension and arrest after students said they saw her with a “paper gun,” which was little more than a piece of paper with a corner torn off.

Earlier this year, a 7-year-old student was also suspended after biting his Pop Tart toaster pastry into the shape of a gun.

Also in January, a school in the Bronx went into panic mode after two children were merely overheard talking about a toy Nerf gun neither of the boys had even brought to school.

Indeed, the woman in the Wenatchee case is actually fortunate she wasn’t killed.

As we reported earlier this week, 13-year-old Andy Lopez Cruz from Sonoma Co., Calif was shot seven times in 10 seconds after someone reportedly saw him walking down the street with a rifle. Police later learned the rifle was a plastic replica.

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