Archive for Monday, January 26, 2009

Tonganoxie sixth-grader charged for explosive device confiscated at school

A Tonganoxie Middle School sixth-grader was charged with a felony and a misdemeanor for bringing a homemade explosive device to school last week.

January 26, 2009


A 12-year-old Tonganoxie boy, accused of taking an explosive device to school, faces felony and misdemeanor charges in Leavenworth County District Court.

Todd Thompson, Leavenworth County attorney, said he filed two charges: unlawful possession of explosives in an occupied building, which is a felony, and carry and conceal of an explosive, a misdemeanor. The boy had his first court appearance on Monday.

A Tonganoxie Middle School student was taken into police custody Thursday after school officials confiscated a homemade device, which was a cardboard BB wrapper with a fuse that had been packed with BBs and the powder of two M-80s.

Mike Vestal, Tonganoxie mayor and police dispatcher, said the device had the potential to injure or kill people if ignited.

A bomb squad safely detonated the device at a nearby quarry.

Tonganoxie police said the student, a sixth-grader, was showing off the small device to other students at school when one of them contacted school administrators. Police said the device was equivalent to one-third of a stick of dynamite.

The student is serving a 10-day suspension, during which an expulsion hearing will take place. Normal discipline for such an offense in the Tonganoxie district is expulsion for the remainder of the school year or for a full calendar year, said Kyle Hayden, assistant superintendent.


Shardwurm 9 years, 4 months ago

I'm sorry for the family. Troubling times.

Emily Hadley 9 years, 4 months ago

That sounds like Tonganoxie... don't allow troublemakers to get an education.

Tammie Bryant 9 years, 4 months ago

ok, what the boy did was wrong, but come on. Did he intend on killing or injuring anyone, doubtful. He didn't have any maliscious intent. A felony charge is ridiculous.

Maddy Griffin 9 years, 4 months ago

Why is there(again) no mention of this child's parents?I thought parents were ALWAYS held responsible for the actions of a child this young. Start holding parents responsible for their kids and see how quickly crap like this stops.

junco_partner 9 years, 4 months ago

tennesseeradar wtf are you talking about that there is no way a 12 year old could do this alone. We used to do things like this all the time when I was growing up and no adults ever showed us how. He was just being a boy and showing off for his friends. We used to make home made fire crackers and blow up model cars, airplanes, etc. The authorities are overreacting big time on this. Instead of punishing the child at home and at school they are pressing charges which will end up ruining this kids life forever over a stupid mistake he made as a young child. Sending this kid to juvie will end up making him a worse person not a better person.

webmocker 9 years, 4 months ago

"How did this boy know how to construct such an explosive device and how did he get the materials? There is no way a 12 year old child could have done this alone."Really? No way a 12 year old could take apart a couple M-80s, pack the powder into a box of bb's, stick a fuse in it and wrap it in duct tape? I knew kids back in the 70's who could do that and worse without the aid of adults. And I hear there's an easy way to get information now that we didn't have back then...

Janet Lowther 9 years, 4 months ago

Bringing this contraption to school was profoundly stupid.MAKING the thing was well within the bounds of normal boy's activities, 40 years ago anyway. BTW: I don't give much credence to the cop's claim that this device was equivalent to a third or a stick of dynamite: He only used the powder from two M-80s. IIRC that is only "flashlight powder," not even black gunpowder, never mind a high explosive. M-80's purpose was to make a very loud bang, simulating the explosion of a hand grenade or other bomb. Classic M-80s contained 2.5-3 grams of flashlight powder. So this device contained at most 6 grams of low explosive.Dangerous? Yes. Comparable to a stick of dynamite? No way.It might maybe have had the mass of a third of a very small stick of dynamite, if you count the weight of the BBs. The explosive power? They are exaggerating. A lot.

FMT6488 9 years, 4 months ago

As a grade schooler, I played with firecrackers. Everyone did. By the time I was in the fourth grade, I was tearing apart fireworks and attempting (rarely successfully) to make my own fireworks. I like to think that I may have gone about it a little differently than most kids, though. I actually read about the history of gunpowder, how it was made, and the first actual constructive (or possibly destructive) uses known. There are some historians that believed it was first used for entertainment - firecrackers, then as a signaling device(rockets), then finally as an explosive(powder packed in a container, then ignited by starting a fire around the device). My readings were fairly varied ranging from historical books to historical gun smithing to modern military manuals. As a junior pyrotechnical experimenter, my only goal was a successful BANG! The idea of using one to actually cause damage or harm never really occurred to me. (That came later during my H.S. days - I and some friends blew up the local curmudgeon's street-side mail box - he was always yelling at us kids for playing football near or in his yard). >But even during my time of adolescent insanity, I NEVER thought of doing something so stupid as to make a home-made fragmentation bomb! I knew better than to even consider making something like that. P.S. - The mailbox didn't actually explode. It wasn't very useful as a mailbox afterwards, though - the door wouldn't close and it leaked. It also lost that distinctive mailbox shape.

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