Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Student won’t return after toy airsoft gun case

A Fargo student who brought a toy gun to school won’t return to the school where the incident happened, said Superintendent David Flowers.

Instead, the student will perform community service and finish the school year in an “alternative placement,” the superintendent said.

The student brought an Airsoft replica pistol to school before winter break. The pistol shoots a soft projectile.

“We took it very seriously, although it wasn’t used as a weapon,” Flowers said. “Those things don’t belong in school.”

He declined to name the school involved or the alternative placement.

An investigation indicated the student didn’t intend to use the toy as a weapon, Flowers said. A three-person panel conducted a hearing to determine the consequences.

The toy gun is nearly indistinguishable from a real gun, Flowers said.

It’s similar to the pellet gun a Florida teen recently brandished in a middle school. Deputies there shot and killed him as he held the gun that closely resembled a 9 mm handgun.

“That’s why we have the rules we have,” Flowers said. “That’s why we take this situation seriously.”

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