Published 1:00 pm Tuesday, January 21, 2014
PRINCE EDWARD — School officials sent a letter home last Friday to inform parents and guardians that a third grade student was found that day in possession of an unloaded pellet gun in his book bag.
“The classroom teacher promptly reported this to administration, who acted quickly and appropriately to secure the student and the weapon,” the letter from Division Superintendent Dr. David Smith stated. “At no time was any student or staff member in danger of harm. All procedures were followed.”
The student was removed from class and parents and law enforcement were involved. The letter was sent home and school officials also did a school messenger alert.
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“…We’re pleased that all procedures were followed and the teacher (and) administrators’ quick response helped insure that there was no danger to anyone else—students or staff,” Dr. Smith told The Herald.
He also noted, “There was nothing threatening about it. The child may have shown it to another student, but…he didn’t bring it (to threaten anyone). At all.”
Dr. Smith offered a reminder in the letter that “Virginia State law and School Board Policy prohibits any type of weapon on school property. The definition of weapons includes pellet guns, toy guns and any objects that might reasonably appear to be a weapon.”
State law, he further explained, mandates expulsion of students for a minimum of one year for violation of the policy “except under extenuating circumstances.” Whether the age factors as extenuating circumstances would be up to the school board to determine.
Dr. Smith cited in the letter,” Parents are asked to remind their children not to bring any weapon on school property at any time.”