You see, Tony, and this is the reason I called you… I know there is sensitivity now about children coming into the school, shooting up their classmates. I get that. But at a certain point, people have to stand up and say “Enough with the hysteria! Enough is enough!” We are not going to sacrifice the dignity of our children, our own dignity… What they (the school) did is not keeping anyone safe.
Furious at the way his son had been treated, Phillips wrote a letter to the principal, Mr. David Fehte:
It may come as a shock to Mr. DeLarme, It may even be news to you, but my son is not the only boy in Woodland Hills with a BB gun. There are quite a few boys attending your school who not only own BB guns, but own real guns as well. (Some of them play air soft with my son!) Their fathers, mothers, and brothers also own guns and shoot regularly. Owning a gun is NOT a sign of mental illness. Owning a BB gun is NOT an indication of mental instability! Certainly, showing friends a photograph of a gun is NOT a warning sign that a student is a potential danger to his classmates! I object, in the strongest of terms, to my son being treated as a potential danger and to his being threatened with law enforcement. I further object to not being notified! If Mr. DeLarme truly believed my son presented a danger, both my wife and I should have been notified immediately!
Rather than respond himself, Fehte dispatched a vice principal to answer Phillips’ letter. The vice-principal claimed, according to Phillips, that the teacher had done the right thing to, “secure the safety of the 3,000 students and the 250 faculty members at the school.” Secure their safety from what? A photo?
One wonders how many other El Camino Real High School students are being threatened and humiliated by their teachers, and how many parents are likewise uninformed.