Monticello Middle School student brings unloaded air gun to school

2012-12-17T20:15:00Z 2012-12-18T10:25:54Z Monticello Middle School student brings unloaded air gun to schoolBy Erik Olson / The Daily News Longview Daily News
December 17, 2012 8:15 pm  • 

A 12-year-old Monticello Middle School student is facing possible expulsion for bringing an unloaded air pistol to school Monday afternoon, an incident that Longview school officials say was made more tense since it occurred in the wake of last week’s mass shooting at a Connecticut elementary school.

The female student was showing the gun to a friend in the locker room during Physical Education class, Sandy Catt, a Longview School District spokeswoman, said. The friend then reported the incident to teachers, who confiscated the weapon and contacted Longview police, Catt said.

The girl did not appear to be threatening anyone, nor did she seem prepared to load the pellets from a bag into the weapon or to fire it, Catt said. However, students are not allowed to possess weapons on school grounds, and district officials are evaluating whether to expel the girl, Catt said.

“I think that our kids are in the practice of telling adults when they see things like this. I do think that, for all of us adults involved in the school system, this is coming at a particularly edgy time. All of our concerns are heightened because of the tragedy in Connecticut,” Catt said.

Monticello administrators also sent a direct voice mail to parents to inform them of the situation, she added.

Teachers and administrators nationwide were on high alert Monday, the first day back at class following the horrific Connecticut shooting. On Friday, a 20-year-old gunman walked into Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., and opened fire with an assault rifle. He killed 20 first-graders and six adults before turning the gun on himself. Police are continuing to investigate the motive of the shooter, who had previously attended the school.

Catt said that teachers and counselors are available districtwide if students need to talk, though none have done so. The tragedy is also weighing on teachers as they return to work, she said.

“Throughout the district, it continues to be in our hearts and minds. Every adult who works in the district can’t not think about this,” Catt said.

Kelso school officials say they have distributed information to teachers to help students deal with trauma, but none have come forward with any problems.

The district has no specific plans for a formal memorial for the victims, but administrators and staff would get behind anything students would want to do, Randy Heath, Kelso schools director of student services, said.

“I think the principals are keeping an eye out,” he said.

Copyright 2015 Longview Daily News. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

(12) Comments

  1. anamerican
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    anamerican - December 18, 2012 9:16 am
    Expel her.
  2. IBconcerned
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    IBconcerned - December 18, 2012 11:00 am
    Absolutely Expel her; it starts with getting attention to herself so maximum punishment .
  3. Stella
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    Stella - December 18, 2012 12:48 pm
    Expel?, doesn't that mean don't return? How is she supposed to get her education? She's only 12, doesn't anyone care about helping a troubled child anymore? No! Just throw them out on the street, that's what they deserve right? This kind of heartlessness is the reason we have so many troubled people wandering around out there. Yes, I think there is some kind of punishment to be dealt out, but all expulsion will do is give a teen who doesn't respect school permission not to attend.
  4. K360
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    K360 - December 18, 2012 1:25 pm
    "The friend then reported the incident to teachers, who confiscated the weapon and contacted Longview police" Perhaps we should call the police and let them take the gun away from the student. I think some schools think they are the "law" but need to know when to step back and let the real law take control of things. It was reported to be a pellet gun, reports can be wrong.
  5. Just Curious
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    Just Curious - December 18, 2012 1:29 pm
    Shouldn't even be a question of course you expel her. This can not be allowed. If you go easy on her other kids will do it since she didn't get in that much trouble.
  6. Irrelavent
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    Irrelavent - December 18, 2012 1:56 pm
    One: This child needs to be expelled to set a precedent. This is the second weapons issue in this school in about a weeks time. This type of thing just leads to worse activity if not curbed right away.

    What I wanna know is, what is this school, and others all over, gonna do to start protecting our children? They need a environment where they feel safe and secure if they are gonna be able to focus on getting a solid education. Time to be active, instead of re-active.
  7. Roudyruss
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    Roudyruss - December 18, 2012 4:31 pm
    It was a pellet gun not an AK-47, give her detention and call it good. You could hurt people worse hitting them with your fist than getting shot by a BB gun. Something everyone seems to ignore about the school shooting is that the physco stoled the weapons. He tried to buy a gun and was turned down. Passing new gun control laws will do nothing to stop people from getting them and killing people. It will only make it harder for law abiding people from getting them.
  8. loretta
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    loretta - December 18, 2012 7:37 pm
    People have been killed with a pellet gun in their hand because its nearly impossible to tell the difference from any distance.
  9. katanaangel
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    katanaangel - December 18, 2012 9:21 pm
    K360... let me get this straight, you think the school officials should just wait for the cops to get there to take the gun?! Seriously? Lets play this out "logically." "Please have a seat young lady while the cops are on there way, and in the mean time, please don't use the weapon you have in your back pack. It would really mess up Christmas if you did."!!!!! If they did as you request, and it was a real gun, it could wind up bloody, BC of how the school dealt with it, ie your suggestion.
  10. IBconcerned
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    IBconcerned - December 19, 2012 1:06 pm
    That's right She's only 12, and already she is showing signs of look at me, I don't care I scared the heck out of you! This is what's wrong, ignoring the beginning signs of social misconduct. School is a place to learn, so why do all the rest of the kids have to tolerate
    This type of attention getting behavior.
  11. Sky12
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    Sky12 - December 21, 2012 2:29 pm
    In light of the recent tragedy;ALL schools need to have a zero tolerance policy! She needs to be expelled immediately. Kids CANNOT think that it will be tolerated to bring any type of gun or weapon to school without serious consequences. This is not an issue that deserves a detention... That is ridiculous!
  12. witchywoman
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    witchywoman - December 22, 2012 8:06 am
    I have to agree....expulsion is what is called for here. I realize she's 12, but 12 is absolutely old enough to know better than this. I think she should get her continuing eduction while she sits in juvenile detention and thinks about what she did.
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