New York Red Flag Law – Schools Struggle When To Act
The New York Red Flag law passed earlier in 2019 gives school administrators and teachers the ability to petition the court directly for an “extreme risk protection order.” Now the different schools are trying to craft procedures to decide when it’s “extreme” enough to petition the court rather than go through local law enforcement. We previously reported on Gov Andrew Cuomo advocating the law here. The law also requires parents to have “safe storage,” and lock up their guns from their children.
“It appears you’re guilty until proven innocent.” Tom King, New York State Rifle and Pistol Association.
The New York Red Flag Issue
The Democrat and Chronicle reported,
The law will allow law enforcement officials, teachers and family members to seek an “extreme risk protection order” from the courts against individuals they feel may be a threat to themselves or others.
If an individual is deemed a threat, the courts then authorize law enforcement to confiscate any firearms said individual may be in possession of.
And those deemed a threat would also be unable to purchase a gun while the order is in place…
When should a school step in…or should they?
“Do they step in each time a student tells a guidance counselor he’s feeling depressed and suicidal? What about if a student overhears a classmate talking in the hall or sees post on social media about wanting to shoot up the school? And when should a school still turn to law enforcement, rather than try to handle a petition themselves?
John Kelly, a former president of the New York Association of School Psychologists, said he expects schools would file petitions only in the most extreme cases. Schools that follow best practices, he said, should have threat and risk assessment protocols to help them decide whether a situation is serious enough for court intervention. That process, he said, should include finding out the context of the threat and gathering background information on the student, like any past behavioral issues.
“It’s not a quick judgment,” said Kelly, a school psychologist. “It’s not based on hearsay.”
Peter Kruszynski, the principal of a middle school in Lancaster, New York, and president of the National Association of Secondary School Principals, recalled an instance where the school investigated a student who had reportedly talked about a shooting, but instead was simply discussing going to a gun range with his father.” Ryan Tarinelli, Associated Press
And therein lies the problem with some reports that float around in schools. Is the report sheer hysteria from watching too much TV? What if the administrator or teacher is so far left that any mention of guns at all causes them to act?
New York has reportedly trained their school administrators/teachers on the law. Neither school administrators nor relatives or even most police officers are trained in mental health issues. Learning to recognize serious problems apart from normal kid thoughts is sorely needed. And that goes for adults as well. But that shouldn’t require something like the New York red flag law.
Andrew Pollack, father of Meadow Pollack, one of the Parkland victims, believes it was Democrat policies that got his daughter murdered. Those major failures in the system are what caused the shooting, not having more laws on the books.
“To me, gun control would’ve been if they arrested him for punching his mother’s teeth out and he got a background. Democrats put these policies in place that don’t believe in holding kids accountable or arresting them while they’re juveniles…so if they don’t arrest them and they don’t get a background, then they’re able to purchase weapons legally and a background check is useless.” Andrew Pollack to Fox News
Featured photo: screenshot of Gov Andrew Cuomo