- Associated Press - Tuesday, May 27, 2014

JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) - The Juneau School District is safe, but two recent cases of students bringing guns to school are cause for concern, spokeswoman Kristin Bartlett said.

Bartlett said this would be a good time to review safety procedures to ensure schools are running regular drills and to make sure students and families understand the expectations for acceptable behavior at school. Drills are required for evacuations, earthquakes and lockdowns.

She also is compiling data to see if there has been an increase in the number of weapons brought to school, KTOO reported (https://bit.ly/1oFW43b ).

On May 17, police responded to a local middle school, where they say a 13-year-old brought a BB gun to detention. Last week, police arrested a 17-year-old boy accused of bringing a pistol to Thunder Mountain High School. No one was hurt in either instance.

Police Lt. Kris Sell said the BB gun was a replica of a real handgun. Another student told his mother, who contacted police. The boy could face reckless endangerment charges.

Sell cautioned against giving realistic-looking guns to kids unless adults are willing to accept the consequences.

“There’s just all kinds of problems kids can get into if they’re flashing what anybody would believe is a real gun. And the response to that either from an armed citizen or the police could just be really horrific,” Sell said.

It is illegal to bring a firearm into a school in Alaska. It’s a felony for adults who do so but a lesser charge for minors.

“I think that’s something that maybe from a lawmaking standpoint we need to think about changing in the future because most school shootings are by students with guns, not adults with guns,” Sell said.


Information from: KTOO-FM, https://www.ktoo.org

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