Square Root Symbol Mistaken for a Gun at Louisiana High School

15:21 February 26, 2018
By: Jeff Boudreaux

In the wake of the tragic school shooting in Parkland, Fl. on Valentine’s Day, school administrators and authorities across the country aren’t taking any chances. Out of the legions of copycat threats that have persisted since that fateful day when 17 students were killed, a seemingly-harmless discussion among students at an Oberlin, La. high school led to a full-scale police investigation and search warrant. On the afternoon of Feb. 20, police were called to the Oberlin High School after a group of students were discussing what they perceived as similarities between a radical mathematics sign (specifically the square root symbol) and the outline of a gun.

When one of the students made an off-handed comment that was taken as a threat, detectives were called to question the student, with police conducting a search of his home. Neither guns or evidence that the student even had access to a firearm was found, and it was concluded that the student had no intent on committing harm. According to a statement issued by the Oberlin police department, “The student used extremely poor judgment in making the comment, but in light of the actual circumstances, there was clearly no evidence to support criminal charges.” Disciplinary action against the student, if any, is set to be determined by the school board. 

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