A student has been suspended from Dubuque Senior High School after police found a BB gun pistol in his car -- a car that was parked off campus.
Image: KWWL screen capture
According to a statement released by school district spokesperson Mike Cyze, a parent who noticed the pistol called the school and reported that the student had the BB gun in his car. Police were notified and the car, which was parked off school grounds, was searched. The BB gun was found and confiscated.
Image: KWWL screen capture
Local TV station KWWL covered the story. The reporter asked the district representative why the student was suspended and facing additional disciplinary action even though car was parked off-campus.
Cyze said the student had created a "significant disruption" of the education process. Both the student's presence in the classroom and the fact that police were on the scene and investigating, based on the administration's thinking, would prevent the school from doing its job.
The district spokesman told KWWL, "It is the district’s practice to suspend students involved in similar instances while the investigation is conducted by police and administrators and the facts can be determined," adding, "Disciplinary action, if any, is determined based on the results of that investigation."
Calls and emails to Cyze's office have not been returned.
Watch the report from KWWL:
Following the incident and subsequent suspension, parents of all students in Dubuque Senior High School received an email from principal Dan Johnson:
Dear Senior Families,
I am writing to inform you that this morning, a BB pistol was found in a student’s car parked off campus in a neighborhood near Senior. A parent noticed it during arrival and called police, who immediately responded, located the student and confiscated the BB gun.
Most importantly, we want you to know that there was never a threat to students or staff and the BB gun was never removed from the car.
The student has been suspended and disciplinary action will be determined based on an investigation of the incident. Again, the BB gun was never removed from the car and was not displayed in a threatening manner.
This incident is an important reminder that the school district and area law enforcement do not take the presence of these weapons lightly. Police and school officials are trained to treat any item resembling a gun as real until proven otherwise.
Thank you for your continuous support in making our schools as safe as possible.
Principal, Dubuque Senior High School
TheBlaze has also reached out to the Dubuque Police Department's media spokesman, Lt. Scot Baxter, for clarification on the local laws regarding BB guns.
Shortly after publishing this story, Mike Cyze, Senior High School's Director of School and Community Relations contacted TheBlaze with an update.
According to Cyze, the school district has completed its investigation into the issue and the student faces no disciplinary action. Additionally, the time spent out of the classroom -- one day -- will not be considered a suspension or appear on the student's permanent record.
When we asked Cyze if the outcome would have been different had the student's car been parked on school grounds, he replied, "the student would have likely faced disciplinary actions as all weapons are banned from school property."
We still await a follow up call from the Dubuque Police Department.
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