By Tim Leeds/Havre Daily Newsfirstname.lastname@example.org
A grade school student was cited after bringing a firearm to school on Friday, Havre police said today.
Havre Public Schools Superintendent Kirk Miller said a 11-year-old student brought an unloaded .22-caliber pistol to Sunnyside Intermediate School with the intent to turn it over to school authorities. The child immediately took the weapon to the school principal, Miller said. The gun was missing a part and could not be fired, he added.
Havre police responded at 8:51 a.m.. and took the juvenile to the police station for questioning. He was issued a summons on a charge of possessing a weapon in a school building, police said.
Havre Police Chief Mike Barthel said police are investigating the child's story about how he came into possession of the firearm.
He said the child should have taken the gun to the police station to turn it in.
Miller said he didn't want to comment on how the child came into possession of the gun because he has not confirmed the information he has.
"And he was scared," Miller said of the child. "He came into possession of this weapon and had been stewing about it."
The child will not attend the last two days of school - the school year ends Wednesday - for his own protection and at the request of his parent, Miller said.
He said the district's policy is to gain possession as quickly as possible of any weapon brought onto school property, which is what happened Friday. School employees detained the child and immediately contacted the police after the child took the gun to the principal, Miller said.
District personnel then discussed what had happened with staff members at the school and with students who were aware of what had happened, Miller said.
Policy allows expulsion of a student for up to a year for bringing a firearm onto school property, Miller said, but that is generally when the student intends to harm others. The student in Friday's incident will not expelled.
Miller said the district has no record of a firearm being brought onto a school campus before this.