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Monday, August 29, 2016

Highlands Student Charged With Unlawful Possession of A Weapon

Highlands High School. FTM file. 
A Highlands High School student has been booked into the Campbell County Juvenile Detention Center after a loaded Smith and Wesson 380-pistol was found in his possession Monday afternoon.

RELATED: BREAKING: Student Brings Weapon to Highlands, Police Investigating

The student, a male juvenile, has been charged with unlawful possession of a weapon on school property, a Class D felony that carries a sentence of 1-5 years.

RELATED: UPDATE: Student Brought Gun to Highlands 

Lt. Rich Whitford of the Fort Thomas Police said that it was an isolated incident and that the students who alerted school officials should be noted for their bravery.

“We're proud of these students for coming forward and their parents for talking with them,” he said. “It could have been tragic. There's no reason to bring a gun to school. There's nothing that bringing a gun to school can help in any situation. (The student who brought the gun) knows he made a mistake”

He said that several students reported it to school officials about 1:12 p.m., and officials immediately located, removed and searched the student and found the gun in his possession. No specific threat was made against a person or the school.
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Superintendent Gene Kirchner told FTM that the protocol in place in the schools was followed precisely as it should have.

RELATED: LIVE Press Conference at Fort Thomas Police Department 

"Our students did the appropriate thing. They told their teachers, who then did exactly what we have in place. They went to the students classroom, called (the student) out of class, brought (the student) to the office and began to interview him," said Kirchner.

Kirchner said that before the school stated it was a gun, they wanted to be sure that's what they were dealing with.

"There have been situations in the past across the nation where a weapon was misidentified as an airsoft gun or something similar to that," said Kirchner. "At this point we are thankful for the bravery of the students who came forward."

Kirchner said that he couldn't yet speculate on what the punishment could be for the student because he said all the details weren't yet available to him.

"It's not just my decision alone. There will be an immediately suspension up to a potential expulsion, but the police are involved now as well. There could be criminal charges as well and that will play into the decision on punishment," he said. "It's a sad thing for everyone involved and for that student who brought the gun to school. That's going to be a life-changing mistake and there's no good in that. Again, if there is a silver ling to anything to this it's that our students and teachers did exactly as they should to ensure everyone's safety."

An email went out to parents at 1:49 p.m. today that alerted parents of the situation. Even though the situation was handled perfected by alert students, quick school personnel and sound police work, reading an email like that can be jarring.

Whitford noted that and added to "talk to your children. Let them know if they see something like that to immediately tell school personnel. This is exactly what we practice and why we do all the training. And today it worked."

He said there would be a stepped up presence tomorrow at school. There are currently no school resource officers located within in Fort Thomas Schools.


  1. Since stepping up and reporting such incidents is to be encouraged, students should be rewarded with an early dismissal day or similar recognition.

  2. We should expect the students would do the right thing. No reward is required! What grade are you in?

  3. anonymous - nice thought to reward kids , but this is what is wrong with kids now days. They should not be rewarded for just doing the right thing, A pat on the back maybe but early dismissal - kids are way to spoiled now days. They are rewarded for everything , and grow to expect things.

  4. I hope the student gets help and that his future is not ruin over this. Was the student trying to impress someone at school. Terrible decision the student made. ..Sounds like he needs help mentally and emotionally. Probably a good kid that made a terrible mistake.

  5. ANONYMOUS -- For doing the RIGHT THING? You've lost your mind. Kids should feel "rewarded" when they do the right thing, naturally. Geez...grow a pair.

  6. Someone suggests rewarding kids for bravery and you basically spit on them with cheap insults? Whether you agree with the thought or not, keep it civil. Not a single one of you showed any gratitude towards those students for what they did in your posts. Anonymous did. Students aren't soldiers folks, their kids, and this isn't idealistic 1942. I gave my daughter a big hug when she got home yesterday and thanks is not enough to a father for what those students did and what they might have prevented. Dismissing a few hours early -- big deal. They get that when the temperature drops below 20 degrees but you don't crucify anyone for that. Ask the police department if the student body should be recognized for heroism, and my guess is their answer would be yes.