Teenager who took loaded handgun to Free State High School no longer enrolled

photo by: Mike Yoder

Free State High School

A Lawrence teenager who brought a loaded handgun to Free State High School in the spring is no longer a student in Lawrence Public Schools, the district confirmed Monday.

But the district will not say if he was expelled or dropped out after the incident.

“Due to student privacy rights, the district is unable to share or speculate as to why a student may no longer be enrolled in our schools,” said Julie Boyle, communications director for the district.

According to the weapons policy listed in the Free State student handbook, bringing a weapon to school is grounds for expulsion for at least one calendar year, but this punishment can be modified by the superintendent on a case-by-case basis.

The teenager was sentenced to six months of probation on Friday. The 18-year-old was 17 when the incident occurred, and he was charged as a juvenile in Douglas County District Court.

He entered a plea of no contest and was convicted in September of one count of criminal use of a weapon, a nonperson misdemeanor. Under his plea agreement, a charge of marijuana possession from the same incident was dropped.

The morning of April 9, a school resource officer and another Lawrence police officer found the boy with a Kel-Tec PMR-30 .22 magnum pistol in his backpack, prosecutor Bryant Barton said in the September hearing. Officers searched his backpack after receiving a tip.

“They were informed by a student that another student was suspected to be in possession of a BB gun and marijuana inside of a backpack,” Barton said.

Inside, they found not a BB gun, but the Kel-Tec, with at least one .22 magnum cartridge in the magazine, Barton said.

Barton did not say where the boy obtained the gun.

Police arrested the boy that morning at Free State, 4700 Overland Drive.

When the teenager was convicted, Boyle told the Journal-World at the time he was still enrolled in the school district.

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