Colorado High School Student Suspended After Visiting Gun Range With His Mother
16-year-old Nathan Myers, a junior at Loveland High School, was told not to return to school until after officials complete their full investigation of his “threatening” Snapchat.
Complete Colorado reported that Nathan and his mother, Justine Myers, visited a shooting range on Tuesday. Before their visit, the teen posted a video of several guns to Snapchat with the caption,“Finna be lit.”
The high school junior was using slang to describe his excitement. The word “finna” was used in place of “gonna” and “lit” is slang for “pumped up.”
An anonymous tip was sent to “Safe 2 Tell,” a program which allows students to report possible threats.
Nathan explained, “While we were at her house getting ready to go, I took a video of five or sic pistols and an AR-15. None of them were loaded, they were all in their cases.”
Complete Colorado sent the Snapchat to Weld County Sheriff Steve Reams without any context, asking him how he would interpret it. Sheriff Reams told them it appeared that someone was excited to shoot his new gun.
“People base their apprehension on their own paradigm and their own fear of guns and gun culture,” Sheriff Reams said. “One kid is totally excited to go out and train on how to use a gun responsibly, while another kid is totally freaked out about seeing a gun.”
Police officers visited Nathan’s father and asked about Nathan’s intentions. “His father told them he was out shooting with me, I am an avid shooter,” Justine said. “So, the officers said he wasn’t in trouble and left.” But when Nathan woke on Wednesday morning, the Thompson Valley School Distcrit told his father that Nathan could not return to school until their investigation in the matter was completed.
The high school junior has a clean criminal record and lots of friends so there isn’t a reason for anyone to fear him. Unfortunately for Nathan, the suspension will cause him to miss school work and he isn’t allowed to make it up.
Sheriff Reams said, “This is exactly the mechanics of the Red Flag Law. Someone filed an anonymous complaint, without the other person knowing it was being filed, but instead of him being deprived of his Second Amendment rights, he’s being deprived of his ability to go to school without due process.”
When he was a freshman, Nathan was caught drawing a gun while in class. School officials felt the student knew way too much about guns and pulled him from class, but did not suspend him. Nathan’s dad was required to sign a statement allowing him back into class. They were also questioned about a Second Amendment bumper sticker on their truck.
What’s your opinion? Did authorities go too far by suspending Nathan from school?