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Sue Bush
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Gun Scare At Northern Berkshire High School

By Susan Bush
12:00AM / Friday, October 13, 2006

Williamstown - A 12-year-old Mount Greylock Regional High School student will likely face charges at the Northern Berkshire Juvenile Court after the student allegedly brought a plastic toy gun to school. The toy was capable of shooting small plastic projectiles at low velocity, according to town police.

The youth's parents contacted school officials and stated that they believed the student had brought what was reportedly described as an Air Soft pistol to school in a backpack, according to police. School officials contacted police immediately after receiving the information, police said.

Town police Officer Michael Ziemba went to the school with canine partner "Blue," a non-aggression bloodhound trained in search and rescue techniques. A police investigation revealed that the "pistol" was a toy.

Police said that during the Oct. 13 investigation, it was learned that the student allegedly brought a jackknife to school during a previous occasion.

Bringing the toy gun and a knife to school violate policies against dangerous weapons in school, police said.

The school did not implement a lockdown status and teachers, students, and administrators were not in jeopardy at any time during the incident, police said.

According to information contained in the MGRHS student handbook, in-school possession of a dangerous weapon is a "second-level offense" punishable by suspension. The act also requires police notification, according to the school regulations.

Students who commit specific offenses, including possession of a dangerous weapon, may be expelled from the school, according to information contained in the handbook.

School districts must provide an alternative form of education for students who are expelled from school.

Susan Bush may be reached via e-mail at suebush@iberkshires.com or at 802-823-9367.
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