Student surrenders BB gun without incident Friday

NILES — Niles Community Schools district authorities apprehended a BB gun from a student late Friday afternoon. The weapon was retrieved without incident, and the student was cooperative throughout the process, according to Superintendent Dan Applegate.

To inform parents of the situation, Adam Burtsfield, the principal of Ring Lardner Middle School, sent out a phone message, followed by a safety letter that explained what had happened and how staff followed protocol.

Burtsfield said that the weapon was discovered following a tip. This prompted the suspected student’s belongings and locker to be searched, which led to the retrieval of the BB gun. Having the weapon on campus was a violation of the district’s code of ethics and is regarded as a serious offense, Burtsfield said in the safety letter.

Burtsfield commended those who came forward with the information and said it is paramount to student and staff safety.

“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.”

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 school officials 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. 

Cass County

Police investigating suspicious death of 29-year-old found in vehicle

Berrien County

Berrien County Farm Bureau donates turkeys to families in need

Berrien County

LMC continues remote delivery options for spring semester

Berrien County

23 animals adopted during Honor Credit Union’s Adoption Days at Berrien County Animal Control

Berrien County

Holidays, COVID-19 pose mental health stresses, experts say

News

Hometown Christmas at Amtrak Deport canceled

Berrien County

Niles MSP Post welcomes new commander

DEVELOPING NEWS

Niles native shot during altercation with New Mexico police

Dowagiac

Pokagon Band, Four Winds Casinos donate food to families in need

Berrien County

COVID-19 UPDATE: Berrien, Van Buren counties report additional COVID-19 deaths

News

City finalizing plans on outdoor dining district

Cass County

Cass County Chief Judge receives lifetime achievement award from the Michigan Supreme Court

Business

Dowagiac restaurants rely on alternative service options to make ends meet

Cassopolis

Cass County Medical Care Facility staff boost spirits amid COVID-19

Business

Small business Saturday on for Niles

Dowagiac

Dowagiac Police Department receives sanitizer gift from Pink Zebra

Dowagiac

Dowagiac resident donates $1,036 to St. Paul’s Feed The Hungry program

Giving

Niles nonprofit aims to provide 100 Thanksgiving Day meals

News

Niles couple plans for socially-distanced Thanksgiving

Business

Niles Main Street launches social media campaign focused on shopping small during the holiday season

Edwardsburg

Two involved in Edwardsburg drug bust arraigned on charges

Berrien County

COVID-19 UPDATE: Berrien, Cass, Van Buren counties report additional COVID-19 deaths

News

Niles City Council welcomes new member

Business

The Strand to offer hayride tour of Sister Lakes