Student Assaulted for Pro-Second Amendment Views, Then Suspended for Defending Himself
PJ Media previously reported on the story of a 17-year-old high school student from Farmington, Conn., who was originally blocked from participating in a school assembly on March 14 where she had planned to present her conservative and pro-Second Amendment views. Thanks to the attention her story received, the student, Ashley Dummit, was eventually able to participate, and gave a speech at the assembly in defense of Second Amendment rights. In fact, she ended up being the only speaker at the assembly.
Unfortunately, not all incidents involving pro-Second Amendment students have ended so well.
Another high school student, 17-year-old Christian Breault, a senior at Middleburgh Junior/Senior High School, in Middleburgh, N.Y., found himself physically attacked for standing up for the Second Amendment when his school participated in the nationwide walkout on March 14. After the school participated in the walkout, an assembly was held in the school, featuring local law enforcement and community leaders to talk to the students about school safety. Instead of safety, the assembly turned political, tensions rose, and Christian found himself targeted for defending the Second Amendment. His father, Brian Breault, spoke out about the incident on Facebook:
Today the school my son, Christian, attends participated in the National School Walkout for Gun Control and School Safety. The school held an assembly after the walkout bringing in community leaders and law enforcement to speak. Toward the end of the assembly they showed an Anti-NRA video vilifying the gun organization and its members (American citizens).
Following the dismissal of the assembly Christian engaged in a conversation with other students who felt the assembly was not handled well. Christian expressed he felt the Anti-NRA video was over the top and he found it offensive. Another student not involved in the conversation threatened him for his view on the video going as far as telling the school nurse that he would punch Christian in the face if he didn't stop defending the NRA. The nurse told the student he could not say that and no further action was taken.
The incident did not end there. Later that afternoon, Christian was assaulted by the other student while he was leaving class. Christian was punched twice in the side of the head before defending himself. The teen's father told PJ Media, “Christian defended himself, punching the kid in the jaw, causing him to fall to the floor. The kid got up and threw an object at Christian, which he deflected.” The student was suspended for three days, and Christian for a day, just for defending himself. When Mr. Breault asked why the nurse failed to report the threat of violence against his son, no explanation was given except that “they would look into it.”
Mr. Breault spoke with the principal about the incident. The principal “was very combative and condescending to my concerns of the breakdown in keeping Christian safe,” Breault said.
The video shown during the assembly was CNN’s “We Call B.S.” and features Stoneman Douglas High School senior and shooting witness Emma Gonzales giving an angry political speech attacking the NRA and members of Congress. No alternative perspectives were shown. The presentation of the video was approved by the principal. Breault, a member of the NRA, believes the video incited the violence directed against his son, and faults the school for failing to address the threat made against him that was witnessed by the school nurse.
Brian Dunn, the superintendent of the school district, later apologized for the presentation of the video:
Dear Middleburgh Central Schools community,
On Wednesday, March 14th, the Jr./Sr. High School held a school safety assembly for students. The purpose of the assembly was to give administrators and law enforcement the chance to speak with students regarding how the district handles school safety and answer any questions students may have had. During the assembly, a video was shown that changed the focus of the conversation from school safety to politics. This was not our desired outcome for the event, and we regret and sincerely apologize for that result.
Conversations are happening across America about how we can keep students safe in school. No matter where you stand on this issue, we can all agree that student safety should be our top priority.
Brian Breault told PJM he believes this incident could have been prevented—especially in the wake of the Parkland school shooting. “The warning signs were so blatant with the shooter, Nicholas Cruz, that the shooting could have been prevented,” he said. Breault believes the warning signs that the student who assaulted his son was also violent were obvious as well. “This kid comes from a troubled home and has been disciplined by the school in the past. Then a faculty member is aware that he’s made a threat, and completely drops the ball. We can’t allow our schools to take threats lightly anymore. Threats need to be taken seriously and warnings need to be recognized and addressed,” he said. After the student threatened his son, he was only told by the school nurse that he “can’t say things like that."
It’s troubling that students aren’t being taught to respect the views of others who disagree with them and instead are resorting to violence to silence them. “I don’t understand how you can protest one form of violence with another form of violence,” says Breault.
And the worst part is that Christian, a deferred entry Naval recruit, was suspended for defending himself. Christian also spoke with PJM about the incident. “I personally feel my suspension shows the failure in our society and schools. My constitutional rights were violated by this student, and I defended my rights and myself from him,” he said. The school’s response to Christian defending himself from being physically attacked could have severe consequences for his future. “This goes on my permanent record, which can hurt my career in the Navy when I go for promotions and my investigation for my Top Secret Security Clearance,” he explained. Christian believes this sends a bad message to young people. “It teaches our young that they cannot defend themselves without being punished.”
At publishing time, Christian’s suspension for defending himself still stands and will be on his permanent record.