Sunday, January 04, 2015

David Codrea: Lack of School Permission on PSA may have Legal Consequences

Rejina Sincic, the director of a “Stop Gun Violence” public service announcement that has been widely criticized by gun rights advocates -- and even resulted in a challenge from a national “gun control” organization -- did not obtain advance school permission for the content of her video or the presence of a firearm prop. An advisory from North Oakland Community Charter School has disavowed any knowledge of Sincic’s intent, and further requested the school's name be removed from the video end credits.

“(NOCCS) did not review, approve, or endorse the YouTube video produced by Rejina Sincic and Sleeper 13 Productions entitled ‘Stop Gun Violence,’” Executive Director Carolyn Gramstorff explained in a statement posted on the school’s website, putting distance between administrators and the activist. “We did allow use of our facility to film a video for a public service announcement. The video was not shot during school hours. No NOCCS students, staff, or board members were involved in the video.

“We were not aware of the contents of the video nor were we aware that our name would be used,” Gramstorff continued. “We have sent a request to the film maker asking that she remove our school’s name from the video. NOCCS does not allow, condone, or support bringing weapons of any kind (real or replicas) to school.”

With that being the case, if no one gave Sincic permission to bring a firearm or imitation firearm (as the one in the video may be) onto school property, its presence becomes a legitimate matter for public and legal inquiry. As does what the school was actually told and what permissions they provided, which might make for a revealing Freedom of Information Act request if Oakland PD punts on its duty and ignores this.

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