A teenage hunter in Montana is facing a school hearing in a few days that could derail her college plans, career hopes and even risk her identification as a “domestic terrorist” after she inadvertently parked in a school parking lot with a hunting rifle locked in a case inside her car trunk.
The report on the situation is coming from Gary Marbut of the Montana Shooting Sports Association, who told WND he was contacted by the student’s mother.
The student and her mother were not available for immediate comment because of job and school schedules, and multiple WND calls to the Columbia Falls school district did not generate a response. In fact, the district office and the high school both told WND to call the other office for comment.
But Marbut told WND that the student, Demarie DeReu, will be facing a hearing on Monday at which the local school board could expel her.
“She will possibly have her life derailed because a bunch of school idiots insist that she must be subject to an irrational, ‘zero tolerance’ policy about guns in schools that does not countenance lack of bad intent. The theory that people with malice will be intimidated into good conduct if people without malice are punished in lieu of them is idiocy at its finest,” he said in his written documentation of the situation.
He said DeReu, 16, is an honor roll student, a member of the Columbia Falls High School student council and a varsity cheerleader.
She’s also a hunter.
“Although she had no intent to break any rules or laws, or harm anyone, Demarie is at risk of having her college education derailed and maybe even being identified forever as a domestic terrorist,” Marbut reported.
It was over Thanksgiving that she went hunting with family and friends, but when she returned home forgot her unloaded hunting rifle was cased and locked in the trunk of her car.
She later parked in the school parking lot but when she heard a “contraband dog” was to be working the lot, she remembered her unloaded rifle and volunteered the information to school officials.
“The controlling Montana law about this is 20-5-202, M.C.A., which says about expulsion for bringing guns ‘to school,’ ‘… the trustees may authorize the school administration to modify the requirement for expulsion of a student on a case-by-case basis.’ Further, ‘to school’ is not defined in 20-5-2-202, but is at 45-8-361, M.C.A. as ‘… in a school building.’ Demarie’s hunting rifle was cased and locked in the trunk of her car in the parking lot, but not ‘in a school building,’” Marbut wrote.
In fact, Montana law specifies that “a student who is determined to have brought a firearm to school under this subsection must be expelled from school for a period of not less than 1 year, except that the trustees may authorize the school administration to modify the requirement for expulsion of a student on a case-by-case basis.”
State law also makes multiple references to banning any “weapon” from being “in a school building.”
The student was fulfilling an assignment for his Communications 140 class that required him to discuss a “relevant issue in the media” when he and two other students on a team chose to talk about school violence, including recent events such as the 2007 shootings that left nearly three dozen people dead at Virginia Tech University.
Wahlberg made the point during his Oct. 3, 2008, class presentation that if students were allowed to carry concealed weapons on campus, the violence could have been stopped earlier. He discussed the concept of college campus gun-free zones.
That evening, the Recorder said, Wahlberg got a call from campus police officers who “requested” his presence at their station. When he arrived, officers listed firearms that were registered to him and asked him where they were.
Apparently his professor, Paula Anderson, had filed a campus police department complaint about his speech. Police officers reported she said students were “scared and uncomfortable” during his presentation.
WND has reported on a number of similar situations, including when a Colorado high-school student was informed of a 10-day suspension for having non-functioning drill team rifle replicas in her car in a parking lot at school.
Marbut has also been active of late in the campaign for the Montana Firearms Freedom Act, a law that simply states guns made, sold and kept in the state are exempt from federal regulations. That idea already has been copied by seven other states, and dozens of others are considering it.
The court fight over whether it can be enforced is pending before the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.