Juvenile justice officials have dismissed charges against a 14-year-old Longview boy accused in the airsoft gun incident that led to a lockdown of R.A. Long High School the morning of Feb. 16.
The girl who brought the realistic-looking airsoft gun to school that morning has pleaded not guilty and is awaiting trial on a charge of possessing a dangerous weapon on school property.
Both students were expelled and have not yet returned to school, Longview Schools spokeswoman Sandy Catt confirmed Monday.
Police arrested both students after another student reported that someone had brought a gun to school. According to probable cause statements, the female student said she brought the airsoft gun to school in her backpack, which the male student took out of her backpack to look at and handle.
The school entered a 40-minute lockdown while police searched the classroom for the gun, which they found in a backpack that appeared to belong to the female student. Both students were booked on suspicion of possessing a dangerous weapon.
On Feb. 27, the male student’s case was dismissed and sent to a diversion program. Diversion cases are often settled with a combination of community service, counseling, and restitution.
The female student’s not guilty plea was entered Feb. 27, but no trial date has been set yet.
Longview Detective Sgt. Chris Blanchard said in February that there was no clear motive at the time for bringing the gun “other than to have it” at school. The students did not mention or appear to be motivated by a school shooting that took place in a Parkland, Fla. high school two days before, killing 17.
The minimum punishment for possessing a firearm on campus is one year expulsion, according to the Longview code of student conduct. Possessing any object which could “reasonably be considered a firearm, air gun or a dangerous weapon” is grounds for expulsion, but the school district has the ultimate decision on whether to expel.
(This story has been updated to include the date the student's not guilty plea was entered. An earlier version incorrectly stated she entered a guilt plea.)