by David Safier
The whole country is on edge about violence in schools these days. So when Yuma Republican Senator Don Shooter barged into a charter school to dress down his grandson's teacher, was told by an employee at the front desk he had to wait because the teacher was in class, disregarded the employee, walked into the classroom and, "visibly angry," confronted the teacher in front of her students, it's cause for alarm. Shooter was a potential assailant acting in an aggressive manner that could easily have been the first stage of a violent, possibly lethal, act. Good thing neither he nor the teacher was armed at the time (at least I don't think he was armed).
Shooter would like the whole thing to go away, and the head of the Arizona Charter School Association agreed and asked that the situation be resolved quietly. But seven people, teachers and students, want to pursue charges against him, and the Yuma police agree.
Police recommended prosecutors charge Shooter with misdemeanor assault, second-degree criminal trespassing, disturbance of an educational institution and six counts of disorderly conduct. The Yuma city prosecutor will ultimately decide if Shooter should be charged.
If it was a 22 year old nobody who barged into the school and acted like Shooter did, would he be charged? What if it was someone who looked Middle Eastern, or Hispanic? Of course those people would have been charged. And if race could be brought into the incident, Republicans would be screaming for multiple investigations and guns in every school.
The Republican-controlled State Senate doesn't see the need to rush into an ethics hearing on Shooter's actions. Would the Republicans be that delicate if it were one of their Democratic colleagues? I doubt it. If it was a Democrat, Tom Horne would have called half a dozen press conferences by now. But hey, IOKIYAR (It's OK If You're A Republican).