A Queens elementary school was temporarily evacuated after both teachers and police mistook a toy for a grenade launcher.
The police who responded to the scene claimed that it “looked quite real,” and we’d have to agree with them. It’s probably just some PVC pipe with a camouflage paint job, but we can see why it might fool people from afar.
According to reports, the gun was left outside the front of the building, though it is uncertain if one of the students left the toy there of if someone else brought it to the school.
The police evacuated all 800 children out of the school and did not allow them to return for 30 minutes, but reports from teachers put that number closer to 90 minutes.
We find that we’ve got mixed feelings about this story. On the one hand, it’s great to see that the teachers and the police acted in the best interest of the children and took every precaution to ensure their safety. On the other hand, it was a huge fuss over nothing, and it all could have been avoided with a bit of common sense.
When the teacher first spotted the gun, we can’t quite figure out why she didn’t just investigate in the first place. We can understand why a teacher would be hesitant of a bomb or a suspicious briefcase, but why panic over a gun left at the side of a building? If anybody had bothered to go up and actually look at it, they surely would have realized that it was a cheap plastic toy. It’s hard to say if this poor judgement resulted from a fear of guns, or if teachers nowadays are just overly cautious about school shootings. Either way, it really shouldn’t have taken the police 90 minutes to clear the place once they figured out it was just a hunk of plastic.