How School Systems React When Students Bring Weapon Look-A-Likes to School

By: Carly Stephenson Email
By: Carly Stephenson Email

BROADWAY, Va. -- With incidents of students bringing toy guns to school and other weapon look-a-likes, we're taking a look at how our area would handle that issue.

This comes after charges against a ten-year-old in Alexandria were dropped after he brought a toy gun onto a school bus.

After he showed the plastic gun to a student, officials called police.

The Rockingham County school system has a specific policy in place for search and seizure and for look-a-like weapons.

Principal Sandy Cupp said what happened in Alexandria does not follow local policy.

Cupp said that when they find out a child may have a weapon, they investigate.

They speak to the child and ask that he or she show what they have.

Prinicpal Cupp said students have brought in plastic water guns, guns from toy lego sets and a BB gun.

First, teachers find out the intent of the child and they also consider the age of the child.

Administrators have a conversation with the student and explain it's not appropriate.

If a student threatens another student, with a look a like or otherwise, there will be disciplinary action.

"First of all, why does a student have something that looks like a gun, did the student say I'm going to shoot you or I'm going to kill you? [Or] is it a toy, something like a water gun that may have been left over from a bookbag in a weekend trip," Cupp said.

With searches, the policy says that an administrator can conduct a search if there is reason to and has the option of asking for permission.

If law enforcement gets involved, a school administrator remains in charge.

In other words, the officer could look into a bag or take other action at the direction of the school administrator.

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