The Toronto SUN recently reported on a case in the Kitchener School system where a child’s drawing in class actually had her father arrested.
Check it out and then see if you are as bewildered as I am.
Ont. dad arrested after daughter draws picture of gun
Police arrested a Kitchener, Ont., father outside his daughter’s school because the four-year-old drew a picture of him holding a gun.
Jessie Sansone told the Record newspaper that he was in shock when he was arrested Wednesday and taken to a police station for questioning over the drawing. He was also strip-searched.
“This is completely insane. My daughter drew a gun on a piece of paper at school,” he said.
Officials told the newspaper the move was necessary to ensure there were no guns accessible by children in the family’s home. They also said comments by Sansone’s daughter, Neaveh, that the man holding the gun in the picture was her dad and “he uses it to shoot bad guys and monsters,” was concerning.
Police also searched Sansone’s home while he was in custody. His wife and three children were taken to the police station, and the children were interviewed by Family and Children’s Services.
Sansone’s wife, Stephanie Squires, told the newspaper no one told them why her husband had been arrested.
“He had absolutely no idea what this was even about. I just kept telling them, ‘You’re making a mistake.'”
Several hours later, Sansone was released without charges.
Here’s the latest on this story:
KITCHENER, ONT. – The Sansone family is not getting any apologies after they were put through hell by school officials, social workers and police last week.
And, the smoking gun — a child’s drawing that triggered the whole thing — will never be seen.
“I am really sorry that the family is as upset as they are, but we followed proper standards and procedures,” said Alison Scott, executive director of Family and Child Services for the Waterloo Region.
She told QMI Agency if the same situation happened again tomorrow, her organization would do the exact same thing over again.
“I do not see any need for our agency to apologize for fulfilling our mandated responsibility,” Scott said.
The drawing that startled the teacher, who started the domino effect, has vanished.
Scott told QMI Agency it was drawn on a white board and had been erased. She doesn’t know if anyone other than the teacher ever saw it. She also doesn’t know if anyone took an image of it.
Jessie Sansone, a 26-year-old father of four, was arrested at his children’s school, strip searched and held by police, told he was being charged with illegal possession of a firearm. Three of his children were taken by Family and Child Services to be questioned and his pregnant wife, Stephanie, was hauled down to the police station after their four-year-old daughter drew a picture of her dad holding a gun.
Police searched their house and neighbours said cops were going through the house all afternoon.
Eventually, police let Sansone go, saying all they found was a transparent plastic toy that shoots little plastic balls. The toy gun costs $16 at Canadian Tire.
Scott said it wasn’t just the picture, but the resulting conversation with the junior kindergarten teacher that caused the state workers to go into red alert – but she won’t say what was said.
“If there is a drawing where there is some information relayed through that drawing that children may have access to what is described as a gun, and that access may be unsupervised and these children may be concerned because the gun was pointed at them and they didn’t feel safe, that would concern anyone,” said Scott, speaking theoretically.
The social workers still have an “open investigation” on the family, despite police dropping all charges and launching a review of their own conduct.
The walls of the modest Sansone home are covered with family photos, certificates of achievement and framed scripture. The soft spoken young couple now have a lawyer and wanted to share with QMI Agency they are humbled and encouraged by all of the messages and posts supporting them.
Sansone said earlier that he had felt humiliated and isolated sitting in a cell, not knowing where his children were, or why he was being charged with anything, but getting messages from Tahsis B.C. to Truro, N.S., is balm for the soul.