North student brings airsoft gun to school
NORTH ATTLEBORO — A North Attleboro High School student who brought a replica handgun to school used poor judgment but had no malicious intent, Superintendent John Antonucci said Thursday.
The student borrowed the gun, a non-lethal airsoft pellet gun made to look real, from a friend and brought it to school Wednesday to return it to him, Antonucci said.
“It was a poor decision by a student to return what he borrowed” and make the exchange in school, Antonucci said.
Airsoft guns are made with a removable orange tip that signifies that they are not actual firearms, but the tip was still on the gun, the superintendent said.
“There was no malicious intent. There was never a threat,” he said.
The student had the gun in the high school cafeteria just prior to the start of the school day, according to police and school officials.
The gun was confiscated and the student still faces administrative discipline for bringing it to school, according to the superintendent.
School officials notified police who are investigating the incident.
“He showed it to some classmates,” Police Chief Richard McQuade said Thursday. “It’s still under investigation.”
School officials sent a letter to students, staff and families about the incident and police posted a statement on the department’s Facebook page Wednesday.
“An NAHS student was found to be in possession of an air-soft gun that initially appeared to be a firearm,” the letter said. “The information was immediately reported to administration, the airsoft gun was confiscated and those responsible for possessing the airsoft gun were removed from the general school setting.”
The incident appears to be isolated, according to the police chief and the superintendent.
In Connecticut, a high school student was arrested for bringing an airsoft weapon to school, the Hartford Courant reported.
All North Attleboro students involved will be accountable to the high school’s disciplinary policies as required under state law, school officials said.
“We are grateful to the members of our school community who reported what they observed, regardless of whether it was believed to be an airsoft gun,” officials said. “While no member of our school was in harm’s way at any time, the perception of a possible weapon in school served to incite fear.”
To reassure everyone in the school, a public address announcement was made after the gun was confiscated and the students involved were removed, officials added.
“As always, the safety and well-being of all members of our school community is our highest priority,” officials said.