Lawrence High School student charged after allegedly bringing gun to school
photo by: Journal-World File Photo
A teen boy who attends Lawrence High School was charged Friday in Douglas County District Court after district administrators reportedly found a gun in his possession earlier this week.
The charging document alleges that the 14-year-old stole a Glock 19, a 9 mm handgun, from his parent on Dec. 25.
The boy is charged with low-level felony theft and a misdemeanor, criminal use of weapons, for allegedly unlawfully possessing a firearm with a barrel less than 12 inches long as a minor.
LHS administrators worked with Lawrence police to investigate a student’s report that another student may have brought a weapon to school on Wednesday, according to a news release from district spokeswoman Julie Boyle that day.
“Staff and police confiscated a loaded firearm from a student,” the release states. “There was no incident or threat made with the weapon.”
It was the first day back to school after winter break for Lawrence middle and high school students.
The incident marks the third gun that LHS administrators have reportedly taken from students in the past 12 months. In the span of about two weeks in February 2019, two students were found to be in possession of guns and a third was discovered to be carrying a Taser because it accidentally deployed.
As the Journal-World reported, altogether from April 2018 through this week, the district has had six confirmed incidents of students bringing guns to schools or exchanging them on school grounds.
In a series of tweets Thursday, the school district put out a video of Superintendent Anthony Lewis addressing the incident. In it, he said building staffers have been working to build relationships and open lines of communication with students, noting that “both are priorities in our strategic plan.”
“The superintendent requests the community’s help with gun safety,” one tweet says. “… The student obtained the gun from a family member’s home & indicated it was carried for protection from persons outside of school.”
The tweets go on to say that investigations of the incidents last year “revealed similar circumstances,” and that Lewis asks adults in the community to safely secure their firearms.
Both students involved in the February 2019 incidents were sentenced to probation over the summer, the Journal-World has reported.
Douglas County District Court records indicate that the boy did not screen to be detention-eligible, but “The Court finds that there are grounds to override the detention assessment, and finds that community based alternatives are insufficient to protect the physical safety of another.”
The boy’s next detention hearing is set for Jan. 24.
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Related coverage: Jan. 8, 2020 Lawrence High School incident
More coverage: Weapons incidents, aftermath at LHS
• Jan. 8, 2020 — Student brought loaded gun to Lawrence High School, district says
• Aug. 21, 2019 — Teen sentenced to probation for bringing gun to Lawrence High School
• July 3, 2019 — Teen who brought gun to school sentenced to probation, house arrest
• Feb. 27, 2019 — Teen sentenced to 6 months of probation in gun exchange at Lawrence High
• Feb. 15, 2019 — Taser confiscated from Lawrence High student at school, district says
• Feb. 14, 2019 — Boy who took gun to LHS this week stole it from parent, charges allege
• Sept. 14, 2018 — 2 arrested after reported gun sale between students at Lawrence High School
Coverage of other weapons incidents, threats of violence in Lawrence schools
• April 9, 2018 — Gun found in backpack at Free State High School; student arrested
Lawrence school district response to weapons incidents, threats
• April 22, 2019 — Lawrence school board likely won’t support metal detectors in schools