KENNEWICK — A 10-year-old Kennewick boy was expelled from school as officials investigate a video he made where he brandishes some guns and makes a comment about a classmate.
In the webcam video that was posted Saturday on YouTube, the Ridge View Elementary School student is seen showing off and pointing three guns at the screen, but it is not clear if the weapons are real.
At the end of the video, he says something about another student, then holds up his middle fingers and says that is for one person in his class.
The video was reported to Kennewick police Monday morning by the parent of the classmate named in it, said Mike Blatman, Kennewick police spokesman.
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Blatman said school officials already were aware of the video when officers contacted them. The investigation was turned over to Richland police because the video was apparently created while the boy was at his father's home in Richland, he said.
Lorraine Cooper, a Kennewick School District spokeswoman, said the video was brought to the principal's attention and the student who made the video was expelled.
"That's our normal policy while we do an investigation because we're always going to take these things seriously," she said. "It's always best that we err on the side of caution."
With the recent school shooting in Ohio and possible threats of violence that led to lockdowns at schools in Pendleton and Burbank this week, there may be a heightened sense of awareness about school violence.
But, Cooper said, school officials have procedures in place to investigate all potential threats.
"I'm sure it's all on people's minds, but I don't think what we saw there is at the same level -- but we always take it seriously," she said.
A concerned parent with a daughter at Ridge View told the Herald that her daughter showed her the video as she was reading the newspaper about the Ohio school shooting.
"It's terrifying," said the woman who asked not to be named. "It's just kind of amazing because they're 10-year-olds."
But, she added, she used it as an opportunity to talk to her daughter about violence or threats at schools, the importance of telling an adult about these things immediately and about how students should act toward each other.