Do second graders need to go through metal detectors and be patted down? That's the question some parents are asking after a 7-year-old brought a .38 caliber pistol to his Queens school yesterday.
Christopher Clarke was showing off the gun to classmates; one of the kids told the teacher, Debra Mergenthaler, who told the boy, "Give me what's in your pocket." Then she turned it over to school security. The Daily News reports that the NYPD's Emergency Service Unit immediately "raced to PS 63" to confiscate the gun and take Clarke to the 106th precinct.
Then it got more interesting: It turns out that Clarke's 14-year-old brother was in possession of the gun and that his mother, NYPD traffic enforcement agent Andrea Clarke, knew about it. The Post reports that Andrea Clarke said the gun was her boyfriend's; the News says the 14-year-old "found" he weapon, and when his mother found out, she just said to get rid of it. Andrea Clarke and her 14-year-old son were charged with reckless endangerment; the children were released into the custody of a grandparent.
As for 7-year-old Christopher, the Department of Education says he will face "serious disciplinary action," given that the DOE suspends students for a year if caught with a gun. Wow - do you think they should suspend him for a year? Maybe they should get him counseling, too.