- The Washington Times - Friday, February 23, 2018

A student at Oberlin High School in Oberlin, Louisiana, has been barred from school property and awaits an expulsion hearing after he commented on the square root symbol’s likeness to a gun.

The discussion prompted a police investigation and a search of the student’s house. Authorities cleared the student of any wrongdoing.

Allen Parish Sheriff Doug Hebert said gossip distorted the student’s remark into what sounded like a threat to carry out a mass shooting.

“He did not commit a crime,” Mr. Herbert told a local ABC News affiliate. “He did not commit anything remotely criminal, nothing to remotely suggest any intent to do actual harm.”

A group of students was reportedly working on a math problem when one student drew the square root sign and noticed it “looks just like a pistol.”

While helping another student with the problem, he reportedly said something along the lines of, “Let’s get to work before I shoot you with a pistol,” referring to the square root sign he had just drawn.

Police searched the student’s house Wednesday after rumors spread on social media that he was planning to carry out a mass shooting.

Superintendent Michael Doucet said the school board approved stricter guidelines for shooting threats in response to the incident.

“The first thing we’re going to do is remove that student from the premises with proper authority,” Mr. Doucet told the ABC affiliate. “Then, we’re going to have a home visit done by detectives of the sheriff’s department, and if no charges are filed, we’re going to conduct a threat assessment on the student.”

• Bradford Richardson can be reached at brichardson@washingtontimes.com.

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