Dad banned from school after showing principal his gun license during argument

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ARLINGTON, Mass. — A Massachusetts parent has been banned form his son’s elementary school after officials say he threatened the principal by showing his gun license, according to CBS Boston.

The man, Robert Goodwin, 41, says he is not a threat to anyone and claims he is being treated unfairly.

According to CBS Boston, Arlington police said that to “play it safe,” they revoked Goodwin’s firearms license and removed his hunting rifle from his home.

The incident happened during a heated private discussion between Goodwin and Michael Hanna, principal at the Stratton Elementary School. Goodwin said the argument was over a picture his son drew at school that was “inappropriate,” according to the principal.

“During that discussion I compared my legally owned license to carry firearms with the picture that my son drew,” Goodwin said.

The school sent a letter home to parents from Superintendent Kathleen Bodie that states:

“This argument certainly went above and beyond the scope of a normal disagreement, and therefore the policies and procedures that Arlington Public Schools have in place were immediately activated to make sure that students, faculty, and staff remained safe.”

Goodwin was not charged but he is no longer allowed on school property other than to drop off and pick up his son.

Read more: CBS Boston


  • FaithC

    So what was the picture of that he felt the only way to make his point was to show this woman his gun license? If the picture was of hunting, guns, or something along those lines, I still don’t see why he had to show her his gun license.

  • Me,Myself and I

    Showing a gun license to a school official is indicative of a threat. That dad was out of line! It is no different than an off duty policeman showing his badge or gun to make a point or get ahead in line, etc. No one needs to push their weight or credentials around to win an argument!

      • JT

        The analogy is nowhere near parallel–try to use some logic, please. Big difference between a gun license and an operator’s license. This was a not-so-thinly veiled threat, and the school took action. As well they should–angry, irrational parent who takes an opportunity to show they are armed–there’s really only one course of action to take here, and the administration took it.

      • Proud to be an American!

        You try some logic as well. Just because he showed his gun license doesn’t mean he threatened him in any way. Your jumping to conclusions by what is wrote by the media…….a left wing media site at that. Lets see, your conclusion is he is guilty lets hang him cause he has a gun license. My point is just because he showed his gun license (2nd amendment might I add) doesn’t make him a threat. To me it makes him a good guy because he has the proper paperwork. And again just because he showed his gun license doesn’t mean he was armed at the time or even had it in his car. Every one I know who has a concealed carry permit in N.C. has it on them regardless of if they are armed or not.

      • Joe

        JT – it is a decent analogy! A firearm license allows a person to use a gun which if used in the wrong way can be deadly and a driver’s license allows a person to operate an automobile which can be deadly if used in the wrong way. He was not armed and did not show he was armed.

        What if he showed his drivers licence and they thought he was going to run them over? Would they take away his car and drivers license?

        I agree with the police speaking to him. I agree with the parents being notified. What I don’t agree with is destroying the right to bear arms. At no time did he make any direct threat per the principal. The taking of his firearm license and hunting rifle are illegal. That is a fact! They should have banned him from school grounds, had the police speak to him, and been done with it. Stupid dad, but that doesn’t mean you can strip him of his rights with no causation.

      • JT

        Hi Joe/Proud–you guys are right in that both a driver’s license and a firearm permit/license allows one to own/operate a machine, but that’s where the parallelism ends. It’s the TYPE of machine that the permit allows one to own and use. And while it is true that a car can be deadly, unlike a firearm, it is not DESIGNED to kill people. And Joe, none of your Constitutional rights are absolute; if you behave in a threatening fashion (brandishing a firearm, for example, or threatening to, as it appears happened here), if you have a 50B (restraining order) filed against you, you are convicted of a felony, etc. you most certainly can (and will) have your gun “rights” revoked.

        On another note altogether, I do appreciate you guys keeping it civil. I do enjoy a good intellectual sparring now and again, but more often than not, it degenerates into namecalling, etc. on this site. Have a good one, fellas!


        JT you can go to Wal-Mart in Kernersville right now and buy a gun with no permit. All you have to do is the paper work there and they make a phone call to see if you have a record and in less than 15 minutes you can walk out of there with gun in hand and no permit saying you can have a weapon (pistols you must have a permit but this story has said nothing about a pistol, only his hunting rifle which can be purchased at any gun store or a Wal-Mart). On the other hand you can not drive a car without your license in your possession. You must go to the DMV and take a written and driving test to get a license. On the other hand you can drive a car with no license (people do it everyday) you can also buy a gun with no permit or paperwork (people do that everyday too). The people with the correct paperwork are usually not the ones you have to worry about. Someone who is gonna do something stupid usually doesn’t play by the rules to start with. How many stories do you read on here that end up with a charge of possession of a firearm by a felon? How many stories of being charged with no operators license? And you know I agree with you that cars aren’t designed to kill people but I guarantee you more people die each die because of automobiles than because of firearms. The number one killer in the U.S.A. is medical malpractice. People get killed everyday with things other than guns. Diarrhea diseases are higher on the list than violence, I just looked it up. Wikipedia list of causes of death by rate.

      • Jeff

        @JT: Where to begin? First off, you mention the father was “irrational”. What about the school officials that called him in because of a stick drawing done by his son? Sounds kind of “irrational” to me. In fact, it sounds to me like they were trying to get a rise out of the guy, knowing he was a gun owner. Second, you need to get educated. my friend: the Constitution does not *give* us our rights as your statement implies. Our rights come from Nature. The Bill of Rights is only there to remind the Government of that fact. Don’t take my word for it, go read the Federalist Papers. The issues and intent of the Constitution are pretty clearly spelled out there. And as to the automobile analogy: I feel compelled to point out that there are more automobile-related deaths in this country annually than gun-related deaths. And yet there are more guns in private hands than cars. So while they may not have been designed that way, cars represent an equivalent (if not greater) potential threat to human life. Thus it is a valid comparison.

  • hans

    The guy was out of line but I don’t think it was right to go into his home and take his guns. That removes his ability to protect his family. Seems to me something is missing from this story that they are leaving out. I’m willing to bet that it is something in the fathers favor.

    • FaithC

      …or he could have shown this woman his license to let her know he was armed and it was a threat.

  • Turt

    Showing a gun licenses is not a threat by any means. The reason a person carries the license is to show that they legally have rights to a gun, to show they are not dangerous. Also keep in mind, none of us where there and everyone here is making an awful lot of assumptions based half the information. Come on people. Calm down.

  • j r nance (@rnance1950)

    OK, so they unlawfully far as I’m concerned went into his house I suppose with a Permission Writ from a Judge & took his Hunting Rifle, but the thing is, if he really wanted to cause bodily harm to a teacher or anybody else, he could go to the street where guns are sold by the thousands every day & buy a gun & create havoc, so, what good did it do to seize his gun, just a liberal reaction to a situation that should have never happened….

  • PR.

    Did anyone even notice the story was that he only pulled out the license to compare it to the drawing that was in question? So his son drew something that probably was similar to a watermark or background photo on his dad’s Gun permit license and the dad took one look at it and said that’s not a questionable drawing and should not be disturbing because this is what it really looks like and pulls out the gun carry license to prove it. Wow looks like a major overreaction by everyone! :-( so sad.

  • larataylor23

    Useless “story” like so many that lack substantial information. Only posted to be salacious and rile people up. Click bait because it’s easier than journalism.

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