A 6 year-old boy in kindergarten at Africentric Early College K-12 School in Columbus, Ohio was stopped at the front door of the school on January 11, 2019 when staff noticed he had a heavy object in his pants. Searching him, they found a loaded, semiautomatic handgun with a detachable magazine.
The school’s principal, Tyree Pollard, sent a letter home to parents saying the boy “will face appropriate discipline…including the potential of suspension or expulsion.” But no mention has been made by anyone of charging the guardian who owns the handgun and made it accessible to the kindergartner.
A six year-old child does not have the cognitive ability required to understand the dangers he and others faced from the firearm he was carrying. Meanwhile, there is a grossly negligent gun owner in the boy’s presence (perhaps daily) who could have and should have kept the handgun unloaded, secured and away from him at all times. Too often, we see school administrators and law enforcement blaming children for the reckless behavior of gun-owning adults.
Please contact principal Tyree Pollard and Columbus police chief Kim Jacobs through the channels below and give them the following messages, personalized to your liking:
For principal Pollard:
Principal Pollard, I was deeply upset to read the letter you sent home to parents with children at Africentric Early College K-12 School explaining that you would be “disciplining” a 6 year-old kindergartner who brought a loaded handgun to school. You seemed very eager to go after this child, but said not a single word about the negligent adult who gave the boy access to a dangerous weapon. Why is that? Does a child who lacks the cognitive ability to understand the ramifications of his actions make an easier target than an armed parent or guardian? You have a duty to protect your students. Do it. Speak up and call for charges against the adult who gave this boy access to the handgun. Then drop talk of disciplining him. He’s already been traumatized enough by the incident. Instead, help him, support him, counsel him, show him love. I will be watching your actions in this case very closely and responding as necessary. If you throw this child under the bus to save your neck politically, I am going to be extremely upset.
For police chief Jacobs:
Chief Jacobs, I am contacting you to inquire as to why you haven’t brought charges against the grossly negligent adult who armed a 6 year-old kindergartner in Columbus with a loaded, semiautomatic handgun on January 11, 2019. The boy in question was stopped by staff at Africentric Early College K-12 School when he attempted to bring the weapon inside the building. Since then, I have seen talk of this small child being disciplined but not a single word about charges being brought against the adult(s) who armed him. This is unacceptable. I want to see the adult responsible for this charged with criminal endangering, immediately! I am sick and tired of seeing small children (who lack the cognitive ability to understand the ramifications of their actions) getting thrown under the bus to protect negligent, gun-owners in “accidents” involving unsecured firearms. ENOUGH. Bring this adult to justice and protect this child! I am going to be watching your actions in this case very closely and responding as necessary.
Africentric Early College K-12 School Principal Tyree Pollard
Phone: (614) 365-8675
Columbus Police Chief Kim Jacobs
Phone: (614) 645-4600
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ColumbusPolice/ and https://www.facebook.com/ColumbusPolice/photos/a.456089091761/10156108626076762/
Once you contacted principal Pollard and/or chief Jacobs, fill out the three fields below and click the orange button to report taking action!