Student brings gun to Sparwood Secondary school
A grade 8 student was arrested after taking a handgun to school in Sparwood on Monday.
The Sparwood Secondary School student showed other students the gun, which was inside his backpack. After lunch, the students told the principal and the school went into lockdown.
“We went to try to find the student but he had left the building already,” said principal Jason Tichauer.
“So we went into level one lockdown. In other words, we secured the school so nobody could enter the building or see into the building. Our students were safe and protected from any external threat.”
Tichauer contacted the neighbouring elementary school and they also went into lockdown.
The Elk Valley RCMP found the student at home and took him into custody. Three firearms were seized from his house, including the handgun involved in the incident.
Sgt. Dave Dubnyk said the gun was locked and could not have been fired. “At this point in the investigation it is believed a handgun was taken to the school and shown to some students, however the handgun contained a lock and is not believed to have been used or presented in a dangerous manner,” said Dubnyk.
The matter is still under investigation, but Dubnyk said it is unlikely any charges will be made.
Tichauer said it is the first time the school has ever had to implement lockdown procedures. “This is the reason we have lockdown drills,” he said. “I prefer to err on the side of caution rather than the other way round, which is why we went into lockdown. But I hope we never have to do it again.”
He said students are aware that bringing weapons in to school is not allowed under any circumstances. “Our students know the rules, and we have since spoken to them about what happened. If anything good can come out of this incident, it is the way the staff and students handled the situation. It was excellent.”
Classes continued as normal during the lockdown, apart from outdoor classes like PE, and school was back to normal on Tuesday.
“Some parents called the school during the lockdown to find out what was going on but nobody wanted to remove their child from the school,” said Tichauer.
“At this point the student in question is not attending Sparwood Secondary School.”