Lawrence High School student charged after allegedly bringing gun to school

photo by: Journal-World File Photo

Lawrence High School, 1901 Louisiana St., is pictured on July 28, 2016.

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.

Contact Mackenzie Clark

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Related coverage: Jan. 8, 2020 Lawrence High School incident

Jan. 8, 2020: Student brought loaded gun to Lawrence High School, district says


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

May 17, 2019 — Teen sentenced to probation for stealing gun, providing to fellow student on LHS grounds

Feb. 27, 2019 — Teen sentenced to 6 months of probation in gun exchange at Lawrence High

Feb. 24, 2019 — Lawrence High students concerned about communication, leadership after recent gun incidents

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

Feb. 12, 2019 — Lawrence High student allegedly brings gun to school; incident is second in a week, fifth in district in past year

Feb. 8, 2019 — Criminal charges filed against student who reportedly brought gun to LHS

Feb. 7, 2019 — Lawrence High student acted out in class before staff found gun in his bag, school district says

Feb. 6, 2019 — LHS student brought gun to school, Lawrence school district tells parents

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

Sept. 26, 2019 — Lack of information during middle school lockdown led to needless ‘terror,’ parents say

Sept. 24, 2019 — Students safe after unfounded report of gun at Lawrence middle school; worried parent broke window to pull kids out

Feb. 14, 2019 — Lawrence middle school student allegedly threatens shooting during bus ride

Feb. 13, 2019 — Police, schools investigating Lawrence student’s report of threatening social media post

Feb. 6, 2019 — DA drops felony charge against Lawrence sixth-grader accused of school shooting threat

Sept. 21, 2018 — Student reportedly brings hunting gun to Free State High campus; police investigating

April 23, 2018 — Affidavit: Free State student charged with felony threat told police he’d had thoughts of ‘shooting up a school’

April 9, 2018 — Gun found in backpack at Free State High School; student arrested

Lawrence school district response to weapons incidents, threats

Nov. 25, 2019 — Lawrence school district to train substitute teachers on safety, security protocols

Aug. 6, 2019 — Superintendent says district’s new strategic plan will tackle weapons in Lawrence schools, other big issues

July 10, 2019 — City leaders, school board begin heated discussion on future funding for school resource officers

April 22, 2019 — Lawrence school board likely won’t support metal detectors in schools

April 7, 2019 — Culture shift in Lawrence schools could change discipline, conflict resolution

April 1, 2019 — After 2 Lawrence High students shot at park, school district announces plans to study security

Feb. 21, 2019 — Lawrence school district to compile, share data gathered from conversation on public safety

Feb. 20, 2019 — Lawrence superintendent talks school security, relationships ahead of meeting on public safety

Feb. 12, 2019 — Lawrence school district announces immediate actions to address gun incidents on campus

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