EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Opinion

December 27, 2012

Editorial: School-bus shooters deserve time in jail

Last Thursday, some idiot or idiots thought it would great fun to shoot BBs at two Haverhill school buses.

Coming less than a week after the slaughter of 20 children by a deranged gunman in Newtown, Conn., the incident was particularly upsetting. Fortunately in Haverhill, no one was seriously hurt.

The BBs shattered windows on a Head Start bus carrying 3- and 4-year-olds Thursday morning and on a bus carrying high school students that afternoon. One student cut her finger when brushing off pieces of glass that fell onto her, police said.

“If this was some sort of prank, it’s certainly a sick joke, a sick prank in light of what’s happened,” Haverhill police Lt. Robert Pistone told reporter Mike LaBella. “These children could have been seriously injured had they been hit in the eye or in the side of the head.”

Haverhill officials responded properly to the incidents. Superintendent James Scully sent an automated phone message to about 10,000 parents after the shootings to advise them about the BB shootings. They had police escort buses to school the following morning. Reportedly, many parents kept their children out of school last Friday, the last day before the Christmas break.

Police are still looking for the suspects and have not made any arrests. Those responsible will be charged with assault with a dangerous weapon, police said.

That’s appropriate. This was far worse than a “prank.” Anyone who shoots a weapon at a bus full of school children is too dangerous to be running loose on our streets and rightly belongs in jail.

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