District staff summon police, consider discipline measures for violation of school policy, including possibility of expulsion

SPOTLIGHT FILE PHOTO - Otto Petersen Elementary School An 11-year-old boy at Otto Petersen Elementary School brought a BB gun to school Monday morning, Feb. 5, prompting staff to confiscate the gun and contact police.

The student brought the BB gun to campus prior to the start of school and staff reacted to the situation per district protocol, according to a release from the Scappoose School District.

School staff became aware the student had the gun and called police to report the incident, according to district Superintendent Ron Alley. Scappoose Police Chief Norm Miller said police were called to the school at 9:15 a.m. When officers arrived, the weapon had already been taken from the student. Officers then seized the gun and ensured the students were safe, Miller stated.

The district press release added that no BBs were in the gun and "at no time was there any danger to students or staff."

The incident occurred before the start of the school day, the release notes. The district follows a late-start Monday morning schedule. Teachers use the additional time prior to the start of morning classes for planning. Alley clarified that students were beginning to arrive, but the entire student body was not on campus when the BB gun was discovered.

Miller said the case will be referred to the Columbia County Juvenile Department for disorderly conduct consideration following interviews with the student.

District policy prohibit students from bringing, possessing, concealing or using a weapon on campus or at school-sanctioned events, including "soft air pistols, pellet and BB guns, paint ball guns, sling shots, knives, metal knuckles, straight razors, noxious or irritating gases, poisons, unlawful drugs or other items fashioned with the intent to use, sell, harm, threaten or harass students, staff members, parents and patrons."

Alley said Otto Petersen school administrators will define discipline for the student, and said the case could make its way to the school board for an expulsion hearing, according to protocol.

Students found to violate the district policy or state law can be expelled for more than a year, while other violations will result in discipline including expulsion and referral to law enforcement, as appropriate.

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