A 16-year-old Bayard Rustin High School student is facing two summary violation charges (a citation) and could be expelled for bringing a bb gun to school and shooting another student.
Westtown East Goshen Police say they were called to the school at 11:20 a.m. Friday after a student tipped off school administrators about the BB gun shooting, which police and the district say happened during the homeroom period between 7:30 and 8 a.m..
According to Westtown East Goshen Regional Police "the incident came to attention of the school after a school administrator received an anonymous note from a student that provided details of the incident. Upon receiving the note, the school administration took immediate action."
According to police and a letter sent to district parent, the 16-year-old brought the gun to school to take over to another student's house after school. According to police, the teen shot a "friend" in the chest, hitting him with a BB. Both the police and school district administrators say the student who was hit was not seriously injured.
According to WEGO Regional Police: "The investigation of the incident indicated that a 16 year old male student at the high school had fired an Air Soft bb gun at another male student during homeroom period between 7:30 a.m. and 8:00 a.m. The plastic pellet had struck the other student in the area of his chest, causing a minor red mark.
The incident occurred when students, seeing the Air Soft bb gun in the student’s back pack, encouraged the owner of the bb gun to discharge a pellet at another student. The student then pulled out the Air Soft bb gun and shot a single pellet at the victim."
The school district sent a letter home to parents Friday which is also posted on the district's website. In that letter, West Chester Area School District Superintendent Jim Scanlon says "we take student safety very seriously and possession of a weapon in school is not tolerated. It is our policy to recommend expulsion for any student who creates a dangerous situation such as this."
Here is the Entire Text of the Letter Sent Home to Parents Following the BB Gun Firing at Rustin High School.
Student Arrested with BB Gun in Bayard Rustin High School
May 24, 2013
It is with concern that I am writing to inform you that a student at Rustin High School was arrested today for possession of a BB gun in school this morning. The student fired the BB gun at close range at one of his friends prior to the start of first period class, but that student was not hurt. Both students involved said the incident was simply “horseplay,” but we take this matter extremely seriously and have a zero tolerance policy for guns in our schools.
During third period one of our administrators received an anonymous note from a student indicating that this this boy had a BB gun in school. We immediately searched and questioned the student. Police were notified and the student was arrested. Rustin HS administrators followed protocol and acted quickly and fortunately this incident didn’t escalate.
We take student safety very seriously and possession of a weapon in school is not tolerated. It is our policy to recommend expulsion for any student who creates a dangerous situation such as this. The Rustin HS Administration will speak with the entire student body on Tuesday May 28th to remind them of this policy and the importance of safety and security. We ask that you also discuss the importance of safety with your children, if they are at an age that you feel this is appropriate.
Since the tragic shootings in Connecticut last December, the West Chester Area School District has taken the following measures to tighten security and safety:
1. Conducted several meetings with local police to discuss communications plans and procedures in the event of an emergency in a school building. Once an emergency call is made, police arrive within two to four minutes.
2. Conducted several safety drills with our local police departments.
3. Revised lock down procedures for all of our school buildings.
4. Conducted lock down drills with staff, students and involved the police.
5. Approved new security cameras for our high schools to be installed this summer.
6. Approved new scanners for school visitor ID checks for all of our schools beginning in the fall.
7. All of our administrators have been trained and certified by the Homeland Security Office on what to do if there is an active shooter in a building.
I’m sure this incident is very upsetting to you, as it is to me. We do believe our schools are safe places, and we will continue to work to the best of our ability to make this a priority. Please contact me if you have any questions.
Dr. Jim Scanlon