Police Arrest Student Who Pulled Out Unloaded Airsoft Gun On School Bus

Student charged with Possession of a Weapon on School Grounds, Carrying a Facsimile Firearm, and Breach of Peace, police say.


This information is from the Madison Police Department:

On October 18, 2012 at 0803 hours, Madison Police Department was notified by the administration at Daniel Hand High School that a student at the school had been found in possession of a facsimile firearm on the school property.  School administrators and security personnel had identified the student and removed the facsimile firearm from his possession as the police were notified.

Madison Police Patrol and Criminal Investigation personnel responded to the school.  The investigation revealed that a 14 year-old male student had shown the facsimile firearm, which was an “Airsoft” style pistol, to other students on a school bus.  One student who had seen the firearm alerted a parent who notified the school.  There were no injuries, and the investigation revealed that the firearm was unloaded. 

Madison Police arrested the student and charged him with Possession of a Weapon on School Grounds, Carrying a Facsimile Firearm, and Breach of Peace.  He was released to the custody of his parents and will appear at the Superior Court for Juvenile Matters in New Haven. 

Authorized by Commander John J. Rich

Comments on this story are being moderated, so they might not appear immediately.

jay gill October 19, 2012 at 11:34 PM
I absolutely want to reduce the tragedy that hand guns bring us. But I have to ask - is there more to this story? Do school officials have more information on past conduct of the student? If not I have to say I think we're looking at a case of gross over reaction.
Jim Williams October 20, 2012 at 09:41 AM
Comments from the previous article. In my opinion, The Madison Police or other competent outside law enforcement entity need to immediately interview this Matt person due to his recent posting which contained apparent specific inside information and knowledge of drug trafficking in the Madison school system. He claims that the illegal drug trade at DHHS is common knowledge to him and details how it's being done. That is very disturbing. Law enforcement needs to find out what first hand knowledge or involvement Matt has to make such shocking claims. It may be something as simple as Matt having witnessed crimes in progress such as illegal drug sales and use in the Madison School system and not taking any responsibility to report it to anyone. If he's not part of the solution, he's part of the problem. "Kids have been buying and using drugs in school forever. That is nothing new. It is nothing new in DHHS. They do in the bathrooms, under desks, in the parking lots, etc." Who did Matt ever report this to?
Joan October 20, 2012 at 11:04 AM
Unfortunately the BOE policy reads that it is mandatory expulsion even for a facsimilie. If this is a first offense, and there was no direct threat, the state law says that the BOE should not expel the student or a year. However, our BOE policy does not reflect that change in the law, which is more than 4 years old. It is time for the BOE to correct thier policy. It has been brought to thier attnetion several times and no aciton has taken place. My understanding is that students have been expelled in that time and most have been given tutoring at high expense to us taxpayers
Janet October 20, 2012 at 12:13 PM
Are you kidding about expelled students getting tutored on taxpayer dime?
Janet October 20, 2012 at 01:19 PM
I think we all can think of something really stupid that we did when we were kids, but taking a gun to school (real or not) in this day and age is not OK, even if he is generally a good kid. He may not have fully realized what he was doing, but unfortunately an example must be made for other kids. I think they will not be able to be lenient on this.
Robert Bracer October 20, 2012 at 01:44 PM
@Jim Williams, you're kidding right? Are you so naive to think that drugs and alcohol aren't a huge problem in Madison?
Harriet October 20, 2012 at 01:59 PM
Joan is not correct. Connecticut courts have included air soft guns in the definition of deadly weapons under 53a-3(6) in State v. Hardy, 278 Conn. 113 (2006), and the BOE policy was amended in 2009 to respond to changes in state law regarding suspensions and expulsions. State law still requires a 180 day expulsion for possession of deadly weapons, but it also says that the board has discretion to reduce penalties for students with no prior suspensions or expulsions. CGS 10-233d(a) (2) and (c)(2). This is exactly the policy in place in Madison. Needless to say, no one from the school, district, or board could or should discuss this particular student's record in public, but this kind of misinformation cannot be allowed to persist. As for whether this state-mandated response is an overreaction, speak to your legislators, but one could easily imagine a different, deadly ending, had the weapon been modified to look "real".
Matt October 20, 2012 at 02:42 PM
Jim, do you ever ever plan on posting a comment that makes sense?
tjo992 October 20, 2012 at 10:15 PM
Can't believe a 14 year old got arreste this is grossly out of hand. Like really sending him to coart for breach of peace!?!? That's a bs charge please somebody back me up here?
patricia donohue October 20, 2012 at 11:01 PM
I applaud the student who sent a text message from the bus to his/her parents. That was the responsible and prudent thing to do. The gun could have been real and loaded. And, thank you parent for calling the school, although I would have called the Madison PD first. In these times, you can never be too cautious. To regard this incident as trivial sends a very bad message to adults and children alike. This child needs to realize that he made a bad choice and hopefully it will be his last of this import.
TCB October 21, 2012 at 03:26 AM
It's an airsoft gun for Pete's sake! This kid shouldn't be expelled or made an example of; everyone is totally over reacting on this. He made a silly mistake but expelling him over this like swatting mosquitoes with a sledgehammer. Lets suspend him for a week so he realizes he made a stupid choice and let's move on.
Joan October 21, 2012 at 11:32 AM
Harriet: according to Pem's article the I.O. in the Behavior / Infraction Charts says •mandatory expulsion, with administrative recommendation to the Board of Education for 30-180 school days * alternative educational program per Board policy and the expulsion requirement A mandatory 180 days is one school year. You are mistaken with with the mandatory 180 days- it clearly says 30-180 in our own documentation. I do not see anything in our documentation about BOE discretion CT Law Public Act 08-160 “an act concerning school learning environment.’ became effective in July 1, 2009—favors in school suspensions and allows out of school suspensions only in very limited circumstances. and yes we do pay for kids we expell to continue their schooling-usually through private tutoring
Jim Williams October 21, 2012 at 11:47 AM
Matt. You are not only claiming that drug trafficking is occurring within the local Daniel Hand High School but also how it is being done. No, this was no common knowledge as you state. You are the only one making such detailed claims. To say such alarming things, you must know who is doing it. Hope you or an acquaintance are not involved as that may account for your other posts about not wanting the local police to step up public safety enforcement. You are the one who needs to step up to the plate and do the right thing by reporting what you know about this drug use and sales to the police for investigation. If you have seen something or heard something drug related, name your sources to the police. If you had done so earlier, who knows, maybe at least some student drug related tragedies could have been avoided, R.I.P. Jordan Kinscherf. If you are just making this stuff up for attention, please stop it.
Jim Williams October 21, 2012 at 12:26 PM
I remember reading somewhere that a 5th grader was suspended someplace for playing with a 2" toy plastic solider at lunch. Also remember I think in Connecticut of a student being suspended for wearing a small decorative rifle tie clip to school. I don't think he intended on poking anyone's eye out with his tie clip, but he was suspended anyway. Apparently intent, common sense and logical judgement is not part of the schools discipline equation sometimes. I don't know exactly what the answer is, but do agree with others on this post that the school's discipline policies and procedures as well as state laws on this topic should be reviewed and amended as required on a regular basis.
Janet October 21, 2012 at 12:30 PM
The parents should absolutely have to pay for their own expelled kids tutoring in every case. That is outrageous.
Wilson October 21, 2012 at 12:37 PM
TCB, Where is the Outrage? I want to agree with you. However, We have kids that think bringing a threatening weapons to school is a good idea. On Friday two girls at DHHS got in a drink tossing fist slugging fight in the cafe-otorium and last year one of my students reported observing a drug sale in class. Is it not time to enforce the rules we have and make them firm enough to help these kids make better judgement in a world where video games and sniper game parks are the norm, where music and their videos extol alcohol and drug mis-use and some parents accept Sunday mornings as a time to get the early 9am sports events at Polson field and not the 10am service at one of the many good church and temples in the area? Where is the Outrage?
Harriet October 21, 2012 at 02:13 PM
Joan, carrying what is defined as a deadly weapon (which includes air soft guns) IS one of those "limited" circumstances in which expulsion is not only permitted, but still is mandatory under state law. The code of conduct section is a summary of the policies of the board; it is not controlling over the applicable policy itself (5110.4), which is based on state law, the sections of which I quoted above. The law you refer to does exist, for good reason, but it doesn't overturn the requirement that school boards follow the law to conduct expulsions in serious cases, and legislators have concluded bringing such weapons to school constitutes a serious case. Discretion on discipline by the school board is only allowed here if the student has never been expelled or suspended previously. As for tutoring of expelled students, that's required under state law as well.
Cathy Marsh October 21, 2012 at 04:04 PM
What if it were loaded--how would all of you felt then??
Matt October 21, 2012 at 07:08 PM
Apparently the answer my question, if you plan to ever post a comment that makes sense, is "no". Your blabber, especially about past tragedies, is not worthy of anyone's further response. Especially mine. Crawl back under whatever bridge you came out from under.
tjo992 October 21, 2012 at 09:26 PM
@cathy still would have felt fine because it shoots PLASTIC BBS get a grip people
Joan October 21, 2012 at 10:29 PM
The law was made because removing students from school is highly correlated with dropping out, other crimes and incarceration down the line. The law mandates that children be taught in school whenever possible. To most districts, this means there is a difference between those with patterns of behavior, loaded guns and /or those threatening people. Weapon could mean a pocket knife, airsoft gun or an assualt rifle. There is s difference and state law says so!
Joan October 21, 2012 at 10:57 PM
"Section 10-233c now provides that effective July 1, 2010, all suspensions from school shall be in-school suspensions unless the administration determines that: • the pupil being suspended poses such a danger to persons or property or such a serious disruption to the educational process that the suspension should be out-of-school; or • an out-of-school suspension is appropriate for such pupil based on evidence of (A) previous disciplinary problems that have led to suspensions or expulsion of such pupil, and (B) efforts by the administration to address such disciplinary problems through means other than out-of-school suspension or expulsion, including positive behavioral support strategies" so the BOE needs to think of in school suspensions first and only expell when proven 'Such a danger"
Janet October 22, 2012 at 10:43 AM
Agree that there shouldn't be expulsion but there has to be consequences that will provide an example and enough of a deterrent to other kids.
Joan October 22, 2012 at 12:48 PM
of course
Harriet October 22, 2012 at 02:37 PM
Joan, this conversation appears to be going nowhere. I am posting separately to avoid being over the character limit the full text of the section of the law that makes mandatory an expulsion hearing for possession of a deadly weapon, which an air soft pistol is defined to be. If you don't agree with the law, fine, but it isn't a question of whether there should be in or out of school suspension, rather it is a question of whether the mandatory expulsion applies, which rides on whether the student has no other suspensions or expulsions, which, frankly is none of our business. I agree that it is best to keep kids in school in general; all I'm pointing out is that the law does require an expulsion hearing in this case.
Harriet October 22, 2012 at 02:40 PM
Sec.10-233d Expulsion of pupils (a)(2) Expulsion proceedings pursuant to this section, except as provided in subsection (i) of this section shall be required whenever there is reason to believe that any pupil (A) on school grounds or at a school-sponsored activity, was in possession of a firearm, as defined in 18 USC 921, as amended from time to time, or deadly weapon, dangerous instrument or martial arts weapon, as defined in section 53a-3, (B) off school grounds, did possess such a firearm in violation of section 29-35 or did possess and use such a firearm, instrument or weapon in the commission of a crime under chapter 952, or (C) on or off school grounds, offered for sale or distribution a controlled substance, as defined in subdivision (9) of section 21a-240, whose manufacture, distribution, sale, prescription, dispensing, transporting or possessing with intent to sell or dispense, offering, or administering is subject to criminal penalties under sections 21a-277 and 21a-278. Such a pupil shall be expelled for one calendar year if the local or regional board of education or impartial hearing board finds that the pupil did so possess or so possess and use, as appropriate, such a firearm, instrument or weapon or did so offer for sale or distribution such a controlled substance, provided the board of education or the hearing board may modify the period of expulsion for a pupil on a case by case basis, and as provided for in subdivision (2) of subsection (c) of this section.
Jim Williams October 22, 2012 at 08:23 PM
Matt & anyone else out there, PLEASE acknowledge that you will report your local drug trafficking information inside our town's High School. PLEASE do the right thing and get a financial award as appreciation if you want too. Call the Connecticut Narcotics Trafficking Hotline, Phone: (800) 443-7847. Offered in cooperation with the Federal Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), and your local police. Seeks information about illegal drug trafficking, including marijuana growing, in Connecticut. Both state and federal authorities can pay a reward (a percentage of the value of forfeited property)... or DEA direct (203) 579-5591 or New England Narcotics Enforcement Officers Association drug tip hotline (888) 263-6362. Any of these contacts will direct your information to the best proper agency for a drug trafficking investigation with enforcement action. You'll feel good about yourself for standing up and doing the right thing.
Thomas October 25, 2012 at 07:03 PM
Wow! Seriously? It's common sense not to take anything resembling an actual firearm to a school or on a bus. It can easily be confused for something else and can escalate. People need to educate themselves and realize the harm they are going to do in their actions. I found a lot of info here: http://www.airsplat.com/airsoft-info.htm.


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