Student's School Project Causes Schools to Lockdown
May 31st, 2007 @ 5:00pm
Sandra Yi Reporting
This morning a bus driver saw the student carrying what looked like a rifle. Three schools went into lockdown. The district says anytime there's a possible weapon involved, it has to be taken seriously.
Parent Heidi Crockett says, "I just took my daughter into school two minutes before, and then I started walking back and there were cops everywhere."
Police surrounded West Point Junior High after a bus driver saw a student carrying what appeared to be a rifle. It looks like a rifle, but it's a fake.
Marc Giauque, KSL Newsradio Davis School District spokesperson Chris Williams says, "We can't be too serious about weaponsâ€¦This looks like a real weapon. If I was driving by and saw that, I would be concerned, and I would have made the same call."
The district says a 9th grade student who was interested in the Civil War made the non-functioning gun at home and brought it to school for a class project.
According to Williams, "He brought it in at the end of the first term. It's actually been hanging in the classroom at the light level as a good example of a term project."
But the project caused quite a scare when the student carried it to his mother's car in the parking lot. The gun scare forced the school and two nearby elementary schools into lockdown for 48 minutes. But even after the false alarm, parents didn't seem to mind.
Parent Wynn Hall says, "If something like this happens, I'd like to see law enforcement take it seriously." Crockett adds, "If it's a fake gun, and someone just sees anything, you would want that response. You want your kids protected."
Now the district hopes teachers will learn an important lesson. Williams adds, "The teacher didn't see it as an issue. Of course we see it as an issue. It's against policy to have any sort of replica of any weapon in school, so we'll be looking into that."
The district says teachers need to be aware of the policy that anything resembling a weapon is not allowed in school. And if they want to assign a project where that may be in question, they should talk to administrators first.
After the lockdown the students finished the school day.
I find it odd that the replica flintlock has been hanging in the classroom since the first of the year and no administrator or other teacher noticed it. Ah well, another example of zero tolerance makes the news.