A month after a Gasconade County R-2 High School student brought a pistol to school in their vehicle, the district, juvenile office and local law enforcement agencies are still investigating the …
A month after a Gasconade County R-2 High School student brought a pistol to school in their vehicle, the district, juvenile office and local law enforcement agencies are still investigating the issue.
Gasconade County R-2 Superintendent Dr. Jeri Kay Hardy said Tuesday afternoon that there are “no updates on the case from either the city (law enforcement agencies) or the juvenile office at this time,”
The student had the weapon in their vehicle on Oct. 24, which was parked in the school parking lot.
A school resource officer (SRO) in St. Clair was notified by a student that the Owensville High School student had posted a picture of themselves on Snapchat with the weapon.
When Gasconade R-2 officials received word, the high school principal and SRO located the student and searched their personal items and vehicle. That is when they located a pistol in the student’s car.
Hardy, on Nov. 22, declined to comment on student issues but suggested looking up the threats and weapons policy in the district’s Student Handbook.
“The Handbook was followed on that one,” Hardy said. “It is still under investigation by the school district and authorities.”
Assistant Superintendent Dr. Staci Johnson was previously quoted in an Oct. 26 story explaining what the Student Handbook says about bringing a firearm to school.
“Bringing a firearm to school could be one calendar year suspension or expulsion,” Johnson said. “Obviously through investigation, it would be a Safe Schools Violation and will quite possibly end in expulsion if it falls under those guidelines. That is our board policy. Especially since the Safe Schools Act is in place, giving students the benefit of the doubt is out because it is very specific.”
Hardy further explained consequences.
“The way the discipline policy reads, expulsion is permanent and only the board of education has the authority to expel a student,” Hardy said. “Principals may suspend for 10 days and send the situation on to the superintendent for further review. In Missouri, the superintendent can suspend for up to 180 days. After that they refer on to the board of education for further review and the board has the opportunity to either extend the suspension or expel the student.”
She added that the board of education has not met to discuss this student issue.
“I am not sure when they will meet about that at this time,” Hardy said. “No date has been set.”
However, she does not believe the student population is in danger.
“We are taking every precaution to keep students safe in all instances,” she said on Tuesday morning. “One of the main focuses of the (No-Tax-Increase) Bond Issue will be to provide students with additional safety and security measures.”
Due to the age of the suspect and being an active investigation, the student’s name has not been released.
The Gasconade R-2 School District also received a COPS Grant through the Department of Justice to help with security upgrades. The amount of funding awarded is not yet available.
“It should provide additional safety measures,” Hardy said about the security upgrades the district will be able to make with the grant. “They have not released a lot of details.”
Maries County R-2 School District announced on Oct. 25 that it received $429,675 from the COPS Grant to update or increase campus security features.
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