Students disciplined over toy guns

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, April 22, 2003

Children in possession of two guns on a school bus last week turned out to be students playing with two toy guns, according to the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office.

Shelby County School Superintendent Evan Major said two students, disciplined over the incident, were seventh graders who attend Oak Mountain Middle School.

Major confirmed that one of the students had taken the toy guns to school as part of a literature project tied to Robert Louis Stevenson’s &uot;Treasure Island.&uot;

According to the Sheriff’s Office, on April 15 at about 3:30 p.m. Shelby County Sheriff’s Deputies responded to a subdivision off Valleydale Road in North Shelby County to investigate &uot;the report that a child was in possession of a gun on a school bus.&uot;

The Sheriff’s Office reported that deputies questioned several students and released them into the custody of their parents. It also reported that the initial investigation indicated several students were playing with two toy guns while on the school bus.

&uot;All children on the school bus were safe and the guns involved were not real,&uot; said Sheriff Chris Curry. &uot;During this incident, the Sheriff’s Office was in constant contact with the Board of Education Transportation Division and the school bus driver.

&uot;As a result of this cooperative effort between the Board of Education and the Sheriff’s Office, this incident was addressed and handled in a timely manner. All reports of this nature will be taken seriously.&uot;

Curry also said that Major was fully informed about this incident and participated in the investigation.

Capt. Chris Corbell said the investigation into the matter is complete from the Sheriff’s Department’s side, indicating there are no intentions to file criminal charges.

Major said two buses were following each other when the driver of the second bus saw what appeared to be a weapon on the first bus.

Using a programmed telephone on the bus, he said the second driver called the school system’s Transportation Department, which contacted the Sheriff’s Department.

Major said the toy guns had been brought to school mounted on a project.

Following the incident, he said, the boys received in-school detention, one-day suspension from school and will not be allowed to ride the bus for a period of time.

&uot;The lesson (for students) to learn here is that we need to make decisions and not put ourselves in situations that are disruptive or appear to be dangerous in any way,&uot; Major said.

He confirmed that the school system has a policy which allows officials to treat toy weapons as if they were real when used in a threatening manner, which he said was &uot;not the case&uot; in this incident.


said &uot;hopefully&uot; a &uot;valuable lesson&uot; has been learned