Thursday, May 19, 2005

Airsoft guns at center of Florence school incident

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Updated: May 17, 2005 8:43pm
Central Texas school officials suspended some students and teachers after an altercation on campus. It happened last week and involved something called ‘airsoft’ guns at Florence High School, between Killeen and Georgetown on Highway 195.

Florence High Principal Marilyn Hill says, “The potential for danger with these air guns seems to me like it's definitely there.”


The so-called air-soft guns come in all shapes and forms. The guns fire plastic bb's at about half the speed of a typical bb gun.


School officials say eight high school boys were driving around the school parking lot and shooting the air-soft guns at middle school students


“I'm so grateful no child was hurt beyond the one child and apparently there was no real damage to that person's eye,” Hill says.


The incident happened immediately after school, on campus and the eight students who were involved in the incident weren't the only ones who were punished. Hill says three teachers were put on administrative leave for several days because they knew students had the guns in their vehicles. The eight students involved were suspended for 2 days.


“There's a real potential danger if somebody were hit about the face and yet there seems to be a mindset among some in the community that this is just a major toy,” Hill says.


Parent Candy Bonnett says, “Personally, I think if the teachers or the students were shooting each other, then, after school hours, school should stay out of it, you know. Kids are going to be kids.”


School officials say they've had absolutely no problems since the incident. And even though Hill says the students were just joking around, administrators had to take the incident seriously.


STORY BY TIM SEELIGER

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