KITCHENER — A Kitchener father is upset that police arrested him at his children’s’ school Wednesday, hauled him down to the station and strip-searched him, all because his four-year-old daughter drew a picture of a gun at school.
“I’m picking up my kids and then, next thing you know, I’m locked up,” Jessie Sansone, 26, said Thursday.
“I was in shock. This is completely insane. My daughter drew a gun on a piece of paper at school.”
The school principal, police and child welfare officials, however, all stand by their actions. They said they had to investigate to determine whether there was a gun in Sansone’s house that children had access to.
“From a public safety point of view, any child drawing a picture of guns and saying there’s guns in a home would warrant some further conversation with the parents and child,” said Alison Scott, executive director of Family and Children’s Services.
Waterloo Regional Police Insp. Kevin Thaler said there was a complaint from Forest Hills public school that “a firearm was in a residence and children had access to it. We had every concern, based on this information, that children were in danger.”
Their concern wasn’t based on the drawing alone, he said.
Neaveh, the child who made the drawing, also made comments about it that raised more flags.
DeCoster has it right about the excuses being made for rights grabs:
Anytime that it can be said that a child is in “danger,” no matter how contrived or how hysterical, the state has immediate powers to move in and take control of lives. After Jesse Sansone was arrested, his wife was separated from their other three children, and the kids were taken to Family and Children’s Services where they were grilled by social services bureaucrats.
Sansone allowed them to search his home, and guess what — it was a plastic gun.
…The school principal, Steve Zack, said a staff member called child welfare officials because the law requires them to report anything involving the safety or neglect of a child.
The agency chose to involve police, he said.
“Police chose to arrest Jessie here. Nobody wants something like this to happen at any time, especially not at school. But that’s out of my hands.”
Sansone says he got into some trouble with the law five years ago, and was convicted of assault and attempted burglary. But he’s put all that behind him. He never had any firearms-related charges.
As for the strip search, Thaler said it was done “for officer safety, because it’s a firearms-related incident.
“At the point in the investigation when it was determined it was not a real firearm, the individual was released unconditionally,” he said.
Gun laws in Canada.
For the record, I know a number of people with guns in their homes — none of whom have ever had occasion to use them on anyone, but who want to protect themselves and their family should somebody break in.