Toy guns cause concerns at area schools, sheriff’s office says
By Gary Lloyd
The Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office is asking parents to monitor what their children take to school.
The School Resource Division responded to three reports of guns on area campuses between Jan. 15 and Jan. 17. Each report was investigated and in each one the guns were found to be toys brought to school by students.
On Jan. 15, a student reported to the principal at an unnamed Jefferson County high school that another student had been seen placing a gun in their pocket. The student with the toy pistol was taken to the office. No threats were made to other students or faculty.
On Jan. 16, the principal at a Jefferson County middle school received an anonymous tip that there was a student on campus with a gun. The student was identified and taken to the office where the student was found to be in possession of a toy gun. The student said it was brought to school so “they could show their friends,” said Chief Deputy Randy Christian. No real weapons were found and no threats were made to students or faculty.
On Jan. 17, at another county middle school, the principal notified the school resource deputy that there was a student on campus who might have had a gun. The student was removed from class and taken to the office, where the student was found to be in possession of a cigarette lighter made to look like a gun. No threats were made to students or faculty.
Each school followed Jefferson County Board of Education policy. No criminal charges will be filed against any of these students, Christian said.
On Jan. 23, Brighton School’s principal notified deputies that four students had been shot with a BB pistol the day earlier. A 12-year-old male student shot another student and then passed the gun to two other suspects, ages 13 and 14, who shot other students with it. The four victims’ ages are 8, 10 and 11. No reason was given for the shooting other than just playing around and none of the students who were shot required medical attention, Christian said.
Petitions charging all three shooters with harassment were obtained in the Bessemer division of Family Court last week. Administrative discipline will also be brought against the three, Christian said.
Parents are asked to pay close attention to what their children are taking to school.
“Seemingly harmless items can cause grave concerns and carry serious consequences,” Christian said. “Toy guns should never be taken to school. Unless they have been requested by the child’s teacher, it is probably wise to leave all toys at home.”
Contact Gary Lloyd at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @GaryALloyd.