Schools respond to weapons incidents

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Policy > Students face discipline for violations

A rash of incidents involving students bringing “deadly weapons” to school has prompted Los Alamos Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Gene Schmidt to issue a statement regarding the events.

“It is important for the community to know that student safety is non-negotiable and that students who bring weapons to school will be disciplined,” Schmidt said. The full version of his comments can be found by clicking here. “Parents are encouraged to talk with their children about the importance of following rules written in school handbooks.”

Schmidt also stressed in his statement that his coming forward on the issue should not be a cause for alarm. He noted that of the 3,500 students enrolled in the school system, only a few students were caught with what could be called weapons in the past few weeks.

One incident involved a student, who brought a black-handled folding knife with a four-inch blade to school. He was turned in by students, who heard him talking about the knife. Though the incident was reported on a Friday, (Feb. 22) the juvenile wasn’t disciplined until Monday when he made a full confession to authorities about why he brought the knife to school.

“He stated to the principal that he was the owner of the knife and that he was rushed that Friday morning and forgot to check his pockets,” Ofc. Robert Stephens said in his report. “He said that he got scared and stashed the knife inside the trash can and was going to pick it up after school.” The student was then referred to juvenile authorities.

Two days later, also at Los Alamos Middle School, two students were caught with another folding knife. This time, the school punished the two students because one had sold it to the other.

This knife had one one-inch blade and a two-inch blade. That case, too, was referred to juvenile authorities.

The latest incident happened March 4 at the high school, when a student brought a pair of brass knuckles to school.

“They appeared to be made from lead weights,” said Cpl. Jordan Redmond, the school’s resource officer.

That student was also referred to juvenile authorities.

Schmidt said he believes these students weren’t acting out of malice.

“I don’t think these kids are frightened or fearful of anything,” he said. “They just weren’t thinking.”

He also added the best thing parents can do is to have a conversation with their kids about school policy, and to have them make sure and check their clothes before leaving for school.