Wichita middle school student found with air soft gun on school bus

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WICHITA, Kansas — Wichita Police received a call around 7:40 a.m shortly before school started that a concerned parent thought they saw a student slip a handgun into his backpack before getting onto a school bus.

A student at Stucky Middle School is facing disciplinary actions for what he brought onto a school bus Friday morning.

“A young child put what they believe to be a gun in a backpack before boarding the bus,” said Lt. Doug Nolte, Wichita Police Department.

But that gun turned out to be an air soft gun.

A parent alerted Wichita Police and tried getting the attention of the bus driver to stop the bus, but failed.

Police were able to track the bus and stop it at Hillside and K96.

The student was taken off the bus and brought in for questioning.

“They made contact with the child who was on the bus who was in his early teens,” said Lt. Nolte. “They did search the backpack and found what was described to be an air soft gun.”

An air soft gun is similar to a BB gun, but instead shoots small plastic pellets.

It’s not illegal to carry one either, but under school policy, USD 259 tells KSN News there is zero tolerance for weapons on campus.

“Lookalike are not permitted from a safety standpoint for us,” said Superintendent John Allison, Wichita Public Schools. “We’re going to approach everything and investigate everything as though it’s real.”

The district notified parents of the incident by email and through an automated calling system called ParentLink.

A notification that will continue once the investigation wraps up.

“It’s just an unfortunate poor choice that a student makes,” said Allison. “It’s an air soft gun, but we’re going to take the steps as though it’s not.”

The district says the student could face suspension or perhaps expulsion depending on the outcome of the investigation.

Here is the following letter being sent to parents:

Dear Stucky Middle School Parents and Guardians:

The safety of our students and staff is our main concern here at Stucky. This morning we received a report from a community member that they saw a student get on a bus with a weapon. Wichita Police stopped the bus before it arrived at school. WPD and school staff immediately investigated and learned the student had a BB gun. No threats were made against any students or staff and there was no intention to harm anyone. The student will face appropriate disciplinary action following BOE policy.

I want to commend the community member who reported this and remind students that when they see or hear about something that doesn’t belong at school, they are to tell staff immediately. I appreciate the trust the students have our teachers and staff to keep them safe.

Parents, please discuss with your child the far reaching and serious consequences of bringing inappropriate things to school. The Wichita Public Schools has a ‘Zero Tolerance’ policy in regards to weapons. Students and parents are required to sign off during enrollment about their understanding of this policy. We take these matters seriously and will not tolerate anything that could potentially harm students or put students in fear. We will continuously work to provide a safe environment for students, staff and parents.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact me at 973-8400.

Thank you,
Jennifer Sinclair

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