Tony Katz

In California, gun hysteria has reached such fanatical heights that teachers now feel empowered to confiscate student property, disregard their privacy, question their mental state and threaten police action – in front of other students. All have happened to the son of actor and entrepreneur Joseph C. Phillips, at El Camino Real Charter High School in Woodland Hills, CA.

Phillips, best known for his role as Lt. Martin Kendall on The Cosby Show, lives with his wife and three sons in the San Fernando Valley. In addition to being a regular fill-in host for Larry Elder on KABC radio in Los Angeles, he owns Daddy J’s Wingshack, where his 15-year-old son works and earned the money for an Airsoft bb gun. Last week his son brought a digital camera to school to show his friends a picture of the Airsoft.

On my radio show Saturday, Phillips explained that as his son was showing off the single photo, his Social Studies teacher, a Mr. James DeLarme, walked by. As his son described the incident, DeLarme “snatched” the camera out of his hand and asked him about the photo. When his son explained that it was a picture of an Airsoft bb gun, DeLarme declared the police would have to be notified and promptly left the room to confer with another teacher. The two teachers scrolled through all the photos on the camera, finally handing it back to the boy. Then, in front of all the students, DeLarme asked him, “Do you have any animosity towards your classmates?” and “Are you angry at anyone at school?”

Listen to the full interview here.

The school never notified Phillips or his wife. He learned about the incident from his son five days later. Phillips is livid:

…I’m not sure he’s qualified to teach social studies. He certainly isn’t qualified to psychoanalyze my kid. Looking through the photographs…what are they looking for? What are they qualified to determine by any other images on this camera? Tony, it is ridiculous.

It turns out that DeLarme has been public about his opposition to gun ownership. In aninterview with the school paper, The King’s Courier, in the aftermath of Sandy Hook, he said “…our country’s position on gun control and violence is what makes such situations probable.”

Phillips spoke of the current anti-gun hysteria:


Tony Katz

Tony Katz is a radio talk show host, writer, public speaker and cigar enthusiast. His show can be heard on 93.1FM WIBC in Indianapolis, and at TonyKatz.com.