A boy who brought a toy gun to school has now been suspended after causing two school lockdowns and an extensive police search in Middleton, Idaho.
According to the IdahoIdaho Statesman, the toy, which resembled a handgun, was discovered Tuesday morning inside the second-grade pupil’s backpack by a classmate, who immediately reported it to the teacher. Believing that the gun may have belonged to an older student, school officials immediately initiated a school lockdown at the Middleton Middle School and nearby Atlas Alternative High School, where students moved between classes.
The toy gun was discovered after a 45-minute search by local police authorities. According to Middleton School District superintendent Rich Bauscher, no one was hurt during the search.
“He didn’t point it at anyone. He didn’t threaten anyone,” Bauscher said.
Bauscher says there will be further investigations to clarify the recent incident, but confirms that the boy will be given at least a two-day suspension for bringing the toy gun to school.
“It’s going to depend on what we find, but it will be two-plus days. It could be longer or it could go into further disciplinary actions, as well. The administration will continue to investigate further with the parents and try to help the parents, too.”
The superintended commended the local police for their recent response during the lockdown. He adds that the district – which has around 4,000 students — has sent emails to about 7,000 parents informing them of the recent incident.
“We pride ourselves on having good kids in the Middleton School District, with very supportive parents. When these things occur, it’s not anything that any of us want. Having the great job the police did, along with our principals, that just shows our kids are in safe hands.”
Kieran Donahue, sheriff for Canyon County, says in a statement that the school officials were very cooperative during the lockdown.
He wrote, “[T]hankfully, it turned out to be a toy, but that just shows the urgency with which we handle these matters.”
Donahue also praised the student for immediately alerting the teacher about the toy gun, “[I]’d also like to personally commend the young student for doing the right thing by alerting authorities.”
According to the Statesman, the pupil has been suspended for allegedly violating a district policy that prohibited students from bringing deadly weapons and firearms to school. Netizens have criticized the citation of this policy, noting that the pupil didn’t actually bring a real gun to school.
One Facebook user wrote, “Um… which of [firearms or other deadly or dangerous weapons] did the second grader bring? It wasn’t a firearm, nor was it a deadly or dangerous weapon? I’m all for school safety and this is certainly a great teaching and training moment, but suspending the 7-year-old doesn’t benefit anyone.”
[Image from Canyon County Sheriff]