|Highlands High School. FTM file.|
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.