First things first, I live a block away from the school so my wife, her mother and I decide to walk on over. I have my 5d2 with a 24-70 attached, carrying it with me as we walk. I snap off a picture of my wife and her mother walking on the sidewalk no where near the school nor in it's direction.
As we walk by the first building which is their administration office, an old school, built in 1912 which I've photographed many times as it is a very cool looking building a man runs out of the building screaming " WHAT THE HELL DO YOU THINK YOU'RE DOING".
Startled I turn around and I ask, umm excuse me? He screams what the hell are you doing taking pictures of the school. I said I didn't take one damn picture of the school, what the hell are you talking about? He goes are you insane? I said WHAT!? Am I insane? For what bringing a dslr to a school play? I said on the sheet you sent home it specifically states to bring your cameras! I said I do this professionally and I don't understand the problem? He repeats again I can't take pictures of the school and am I insane to bring that kind of camera around a school after what has just happened.
I said at this point, again I didnt take any pictures of the school, I'm walking to the elementary building to see my sons play and photograph it. He says let me see what you have on your memory card.
I said, F*** you man, you're the crazy one. He says if you have nothing to hide you will show me. I said WTF is goin on here, like really, I'm thinking is this really happening? He goes or better yet i'm just goin to call the cops.
I said ok look, look at my damn memory card, here, I cycle back and there is a total of 6 shots on it from the day before and the one I just took. He stares blankly. I said so what now boss? He says well a neighbor called saying you were taking pictures. I said well considering you can see my house from where we are standing yes I take pictures all the time on my property? Your point?
Then he apologizes and says , yeah I used to be a photographer and I would get in trouble for taking pictures of bridges after Sept 11th.
So what is your take on this potn?
Should we not bring our cameras around schools? I dont get it? I felt like a criminal walking into the school building as people were staring at me after the altercation.
Mid-December of 2012 is a time to show exceptional discretion when having anything to do with schools in the U.S. Having gone to two unrelated sporting events hundreds of miles away from and several states away from Connecticut where the organizers chose to hold moments of silence in memory and honor of those who were killed at Sandy Hook Elementary, this is no time to try to control any sort of situation such as that mentioned in the OP. Emotions are running very high and strong reactions are to be expected. The best way to handle any confrontation at such a highly charged time is to avoid trouble and back down.
Example: at a hockey game involving a team that I've photographed as a fan for years, I spotted a "no professional photography" sign that had never been posted before. My response was to look twice at the sign, walk calmly out of the rink and head home. There was no benefit in arguing the point, especially at a time when the nation was hyper-sensitive to any sort of confrontation.