Archive for Saturday, May 15, 1999

STUDENT TOTES GUN TO CJHSPUNISHED

May 15, 1999

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A Central Junior High student is suspended after bringing a gun and knife to school Tuesday.

Tuesday started as a normal day at Central Junior High School and ended that way as far as most students knew, until they read the note sent home by principal Ted Juneau.

The note to parents explained that an eighth-grade student brought a gun and knife to school on Tuesday.

"I want to provide factual information concerning this incident in order to minimize rumors and concerns which tend to develop around incidents of this nature," Juneau wrote in the note.

Juneau said the student was showing the gun to other students away from school Monday night. Tuesday morning a student who witnessed the act reported it to school officials.

School officials called in juvenile authorities and searched the student in question. They found an unloaded gun and knife, which they immediately confiscated, Juneau said.

"Pending further investigation, as is our policy, the student has been suspended," Juneau said, later clarifying that the boy's penalty was an out-of-school suspension.

"We will probably follow through with further discussion and more action will follow," he said.

No students were threatened in the incident, and the student did not target anyone.

"I don't think most kids know," Juneau said. "It's been a very normal day here."

The 14-year-old student was detained Tuesday at the Douglas County Youth Services, the juvenile detention center. Center officials would not divulge whether the boy was released.

At least one question is eluding police in their probe of the incident.

"We are still investigating to determine how he came to possess the firearm," Sgt. Richard Nickell said.

Deann DeRoin, a parent and CJHS site council member, said she has confidence in Lawrence teachers and administrators in dealing with such incidents.

"We've had the luxury of having our kids in Lawrence schools," she said. "I've never once feared for them going to school, but obviously with everything that's happened in the last few years we have to remain vigilant."

Juneau said that in his five years as principal of CJHS, he has not noticed an increase in the number of students bringing weapons onto school grounds.

"I could count on one hand the number of times we've had something like this," he said.

-- JL Watson's phone message number is 832-7145. Her e-mail address is jwatson@ljworld.com.



WEAPONS IN SCHOOLS

Here's a look at incidents involving weapons reported this academic year in Lawrence public schools:

Jan. 5: A 13-year-old CJHS student is suspended for possession of a pocket knife, a violation of school policy against carrying any weapon on school property.

Feb. 10: A West Junior High School seventh-grade girl who brought an unloaded, nonworking handgun to school is suspended. A classmate who knew about the gun but did not report it to school officials also is suspended.

Feb 16: A Lawrence High School sophomore is detained by police and suspended for bringing a butterfly knife to school.

Tuesday: An eighth-grader is suspended for bringing a knife and gun to Central Junior High School.

No injuries were reported in any of the incidents.

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