Ring Lardner student surrenders BB gun without incident Friday

Published 5:07 pm Friday, October 19, 2018

NILES — A Ring Lardner Middle School student was found to be in possession of a BB Gun late Friday afternoon. The weapon was retrieved and the student was removed from campus without incident, according to school authorities.

Adam Burtsfield, the principal of Ring Lardner Middle School, sent out a phone message, followed by a safety letter to inform parents of the situation.

In response to a tip, Burtsfield said the student’s belongings and locker were searched to locate the BB gun. Possessing the weapon on school property is a violation of the district’s code of conduct and is regarded as a serious offense, Burtsfield stated.

Burtsfield commended those who came forward with the information and said it is paramount to keeping incidents from occurring.

“As parents, we urge you to maintain an ongoing dialogue with your children and emphasize the seriousness of situations like these — including the potential of criminal charges,” he said. “Additionally, [I] stress the importance of reporting any suspicious behavior to a staff member.”

Niles Community Schools District Superintendent Dan Applegate said the student did not make any threats with the weapon and worked cooperatively with those involved to turn it over.

Applegate said staff followed the appropriate protocol in response to the situation.

“Obviously this was a violation of code of conduct and we are going to take that seriously,” Applegate said.

Applegate added that the school did not have to be evacuated for this procedure.

Random bag checks are completed on occasion and Applegate said a situation such as this could call for them to increase these checks.

Burtsfield reminded parents and students alike that they can report information using

OK2SAY, a cellphone and online service which anyone can use to report tips on criminal activities or potential harm directed at students, school employees, or schools.

Tips can be submitted 24 hours a day, seven days a week by texting 652729 (OK2SAY) or calling 8-555-OK2SAY (855-565-2729). Those with questions and concerns were asked to call the school.