Father goes public about son being held for two weeks in juvie detention for posting a picture of classmates with a gun superimposed in the corner seemingly pointed at them.
I was beginning to want to side with the dad until I got to the comments and saw it was posted on the anniversary of Columbine.
Now, his father is speaking exclusively to Eyewitness News.
The 14-year-old boy appeared before a judge Thursday morning. He was slight, wearing glasses, and quiet.
His father Tim, who does not want us to use his last name, was right by his side. Tim is finding it hard to believe that his middle child is still behind bars.
“He’s a great kid. He’s the type of son everybody wants, he doesn’t talk back, he’s very well mannered,” said Tim.
On April 20, the teen posted an image on his Snapchat. It showed several kids in the hallway and an image of a gun superimposed. Other students reported the image to school authorities, and soon, he was under arrest, facing felony charges.
However, there was never a real gun.
Two Clear Brook High School students were arrested for using social media to threaten the school, police say.
“There was never a weapon. I don’t allow weapons in my home at all, so he wouldn’t have had a weapon to begin with,” Tim said.
Because he’s charged with a felony, the 14-year-old with no criminal record still remains in juvenile detention, with no set date for release.
“It was a young child, who can be prosecuted in juvenile court, and who thought he was being funny at social media in this very poor attempt at humor,” said family attorney Nicole DeBorde.
DeBorde said because the teen was on school property when the alleged incident occurred, he is being charged under the Education Code, not the Penal Code. DeBorde said legally, the education code treats a picture of a weapon and a real loaded gun the same.
Tucker Graves, the incoming President of the Harris County Criminal Lawyers Association, said he is frustrated that having an image of a gun can be treated so severely.
“I understand everyone has concerns over children in schools and guns, but I think once it was determined there was no actual gun, there was nothing in school, I think that should have been it,” said Graves.
The teen’s dad said his son now understands how serious even a Snapchat image could be. Tim said his son never intended to hurt anyone, and points out that a picture of a gun should not be treated the same as an actual weapon.
“My son’s been in here a long time, over an emoji, basically what it is. It’s been pretty tough for our family,” he added.