A North Bullitt student is in custody after parts of a pellet gun were taken onto a Bullitt County Public Schools bus Monday morning.
North Bullitt principal Jeffrey Marshall released a statement on the school's newsletter:
This morning a bus driver received word that a student on the bus may have a gun (It was parts of a pellet gun). Police were dispatched to the bus and the student in question was removed. It was discovered that the student had the handle and the fake slide of a pellet gun. The pellet gun was not operable. The student is in police custody.
All students are safe and we continue to be diligent about safety. Please keep encouraging your child to report any concerns. This information is taken seriously and investigated thoroughly.
BCPS superintendent Keith Davis also addressed the issue in a Monday morning newsletter, along with comments on school safety following a week of tragic school-related events nationwide:
Each school has sent out communications regarding the horrific and unexplainable event of last week in Connecticut and outlining the safety plans in the individual schools. It is our intent to be open with our community about every situation to the extent possible in the belief that by working together, we can be stronger and safer.
Even before Friday, there have been a number of rumors regarding the "end of the world" based on the Mayan calendar. This issue became more muddled with a very inappropriate post by a high school student threatening violence. The post appears now to be an emotional outburst to an event outside of school, but certainly caused a great deal of anxiety among several students and was addressed with the able help of local law enforcement.
As the rumors continue to swirl, I assure you that our district and school staffs are on high alert for anything out of the ordinary and nothing will be taken lightly. This morning, another student made the very bad decision to bring the handle part of a toy gun onto a school bus. Another student alerted the bus driver, who alerted law enforcement, and the student is in custody.
The question is: Are our schools safe? My answer is yes, they are safe as they can be. My own children are in school today and there is no reason to keep them home. I've been watching the commentary on the news all weekend - the talk of gun control, metal detectors, armed guards and all the rest. There was a list on one show about the things many schools do to secure their buildings, such as locked doors, sign in/visitor passes, electronic parent notification systems, and lock-down drills. I was pleased to note that 100% of our schools have everything on the list in place. I wish I could tell you that we can absolutely guarantee that nothing bad could happen in our schools, but that would be a lie, regardless of who tells you.
What we need to do is talk to our kids. Tell them they are safe. Tell them if they see or hear about anything that could harm anyone, to tell their teacher or principal immediately - do not think about it overnight, do not dismiss it. Also, tell them to think before they do or say something (verbally or on-line), even in a joking manner, that can make others feel unsafe.
The link below is something you may find useful as you consider how best to address this with your children.
As a father and as an educator, I share your deep anxiety about how best to keep our children safe in a world where it appears that evil happens with much too much regularity. There will be local and national conversations on what more can and should be done. We must be careful, though, to not become blind to all the good done by the students, parents, volunteers, teachers, and principals every single day in the buildings that are statistically very safe and secure places in which to learn and grow.