Thursday, January 05, 2006

BB airsoft guns confiscated at MEMS

A 14-year-old boy was caught with two BB guns on school grounds Monday morning.

According to Flagstaff police reports, a teacher at Mount Elden Middle School, 3223 N. Fourth St., was given an anonymous note about a student with a gun on campus and possible threats being made. The student was identified by name in the note. The student was brought into the principal's office. In his backpack were a spring-loaded BB gun pistol and a spring-loaded pistol that fires plastic pellets.

When questioned by school officials, the student said he was going to play with the guns after school. He stated that he and his friends shoot them at each other.

"He said he had already been spoken to about how dangerous this was and he explained that he used eye protection," stated a police report.

The school will hold the BB guns until the completion of a "board hearing," stated the report.

Roger Hill, principal of MEMS, said the incident is considered "private information" that he is not allowed to divulge. He did say that anytime a student makes a mistake, the school follows through with policy.

He would not specify what the policy is.

Kevin Brown, superintendent of the Flagstaff Unified School District, as in a previous case with similar circumstances, the district will act according to policy and use "best judgment and common sense" in concluding the matter

"All of the details I am not aware of at this point," Brown said. "But I do know that it happened and we will be following policy."

Disciplinary action against students is considered confidential, Brown said.

In October, an 8-year-old Kinsey Elementary School student was suspended for 10 days for bringing a plastic BB-type "soft" air gun to school to show a friend. School officials cited in police reports said the action was taken in accordance with district policy. The boy was scheduled to undergo a hearing to determine if he should face more days on suspension or be expelled from school.

Brown said the Kinsey student is back in school.

"I believe that common sense prevailed in that situation," Brown said. "The adults who look into these matters take in all the facts related to the incident into account in terms of initiating discipline."

He added there is no one answer for any particular incident. All incidents are unique as to what disciplinary action is to be taken.

According to FUSD policy, "No student shall carry or possess a weapon or simulated weapon on school premises without authorization by a school administrator. No student shall use or threaten to use a weapon or simulated weapon to disrupt any activity of the District."


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