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Old December 13th, 2007, 20:38   #1
Flying Squirrel
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Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Halifax Nova Scotia
Student suspended for firing air gun; Youth hits another student in leg

Here another ones of those stories! Another argument for age restrictions and verification in airsoft.

From the Sudbury Star, courtesy of Osprey Media.

Student suspended for firing air gun; Youth hits another student in leg, but welt only injury

Posted By Carol Mulligan
Updated 1 day ago

A Grade 7 or 8 student at Northeastern Elementary School has been suspended for firing a BB gun at another student and hitting him in the leg with a plastic pellet.

The student has been suspended indefinitely. Greater Sudbury Police and the Rainbow District School Board say they are working together to determine the proper action to take.

The projectile did not pierce the student's skin, but it left a welt on his leg, said Norm Blaseg, Rainbow board's supervisor of schools. Blaseg said the incident occurred Friday at 10:30 a.m. during an outdoor nutrition break at the Garson school.

He commended school principal Dave Farrow for dealing with the incident swiftly, and said the consequences were immediate.

Blaseg hasn't seen what he called the soft plastic air gun that fired the pellet, but he called it a toy gun and said it discharged plastic BBs.

Immediately after it was fired, students rushed to staff supervising the area and reported it to Farrow.

The principal called the student who shot the air gun into his office and notified the Greater Sudbury Police Service. A uniformed officer was sent to the school.

Blaseg said the school and the police are conducting parallel investigations and said the school's is almost complete. The length of the student's suspension has not been determined. More suspensions may also be issued when the investigation is finished, said Blaseg.

Occurrences of this nature are rare, and it's the first time he has heard of anything like it in the 17 years he was worked with the Rainbow board.

The board has a zero tolerance for violence, something that is clearly spelled out on its website. Parents and students are made aware of it, are reminded about it frequently and know the consequences for violating it.

When dealing with any policy, the board looks first at student safety and then at the privacy of students affected, said Blaseg.

The weapon didn't make any sound when it fired, so many students weren't aware it had been discharged, said Blaseg.

He called the incident an isolated one, "something done out of silliness," and said it wasn't premeditated or provoked.

Const. Bert Lapalme of Greater Sudbury Police said the uniformed officer who investigated the incident has referred it to the service's criminal investigation division for followup. It was also referred to the service's youth liaison officer.

Insp. Bob Keetch said police are working with the board to determine the best way to handle the incident.

Lapalme described the pistol as made of clear plastic with a black handle and an orange or red tip. It's about the same size as the police-issue handgun he carries.

According to the report filed by the uniformed officer, the gun had a magazine but the clip was empty.

Blaseg wouldn't say if the student who discharged the air gun was male or female, but Lapalme confirmed two boys were involved in the incident. He said the report indicated that prior to the incident, "the two boys involved weren't getting along."
Article ID# 814345

Six more suspended in air-gun incident; Family of boy hit by plastic BB upset by reports characterizing attack as a prank

Posted By Carol Mulligan
Updated 10 hours ago

Six more students have been suspended from Northeastern Elementary School after a 12-year-old boy brought a soft air gun to school and fired a plastic BB at another boy, hitting him in the leg.

The children were in the yard at the Garson school about 10:45 a.m. Friday when the gun was fired. The projectile didn't pierce the boy's calf, but it left a welt on his leg under his denim jeans.

Jean Hanson, education director of the Rainbow District School Board, said school officials quickly determined who the perpetrator and the victim were, and the boy who fired the gun was suspended immediately.

The school's investigation, which wrapped up Wednesday, led to the suspensions of half a dozen "bystanders" who witnessed the incident and are being held accountable to varying degrees, she said.

Hanson wouldn't comment on the length of the suspensions for fear of identifying the students.

Earlier this week, Rainbow board superintendent of schools, Norm Blaseg, called the incident "something done out of silliness," and said it wasn't premeditated or provoked.

Those comments upset the mother of the victim, Nancy Astles, who said she was satisfied with the way the school handled the incident, but angry it wouldn't admit it was directed at her son.

Astles was also upset about media reports in which Blaseg indicated only the perpetrator was suspended. She was told Monday by Northeastern principal David Farrow that several students were being suspended.

Astles said that was because they knew about the perpetrator's plan in advance.

Astles' son, who turns 12 this month, was so angry by media reports characterizing the incident as a prank, he acted out at school Wednesday and was sent home until the new year.

Both Astles and her son said the child wasn't being suspended, but was asked to take time at home for tensions to ease after the incident. Hanson confirmed that.

The victim said a friend told him right after the incident that several students knew the perpetrator was going to bring a gun to school and "shoot" him.

Both boys are in Grade 7 and have attended school together since kindergarten, said the young victim, although he said he wouldn't call them friends.

He said he was standing in the schoolyard Friday when he heard a soft noise and felt something hit his leg. He yelled, "Ow, what the f-k?" then walked over to the perpetrator and several other students to ask what had happened.

He said he was told he must have been bitten by a "bug" or that someone had thrown ice at him. The victim said he asked the other students several times what had happened.

The victim said he wouldn't have broken the "code of honour" and told on the perpetrator, except for the fact the friend who told him the assault was premeditated urged him to tell a teacher.

"I wasn't gonna tell," he said, because he was afraid of getting picked on.

"I thought if I told, I would be more of a loser or people would hate me. What if I made (the perpetrator) mad?"

The boy told The Star in an interview with his mother in his kitchen Wednesday that he had a bad reputation from Grades 3-6, but that he was trying to be "good" this year.

"I was good and I got shot," said the boy who admitted to having received a three-day suspension this year.

He said he was also suspended for 27 days last year after bringing a knife to school that was packed in his bag from when he had visited his father on the weekend.

He said he showed it to other students, but didn't threaten anyone. He had 10 days tacked on to what would have been a 17-day suspension because he lied about the incident and "gave them attitude."

Both the boy and his mother said the incident was a bit of a wakeup call for him and he was trying to behave better at school this year. Greater Sudbury Police were called in to investigate the incident. Const. Bert Lapalme told The Star on Tuesday there was bad blood between the two boys beforehand.

The victim said he called the other boy a name several weeks ago, but didn't realize he was upset. The victim said the perpetrator "handed off" the gun after he discharged it and exerted "peer pressure" on a female student to hide it in her locker.

Astles said it was 2 p.m. before the school reached her Friday to tell her what had happened.

A school official phoned her home before, but she was at work at a law firm in Sudbury and got home at 2 p.m. as the phone was ringing again.

She was annoyed because she said the school never had a problem phoning her at work before when her son was in trouble. Astles said she was told there had been "an incident" and that her son "did all the right things" afterward.

"He was the victim," she was told.

She was also told her son had been "shot" and began frantically thinking, "What hospital is he at?"

Astles is angry her son was hit by the type of gun she has refused to buy him because she thinks it is dangerous. It may be a toy, she said, "but an eye doesn't care if (a projectile) is plastic."

When asked how he felt after the incident was dealt with at school Friday and his mother had picked him up, the boy said: "I was hungry for chocolate ... and I was angry I got shot."

Astles said the school assured her the incident would be dealt with seriously.

Her son's father took the boy to the doctor Monday morning to be checked, at the school's request, she said.

And she visited the school after 1 p.m. Monday to follow up on the incident.

Astles said she was told she was the 13th parent to be interviewed about the incident that day and that several students would be suspended for three to 15 days, depending on their role in the incident. Astles is angry school officials have tried to downplay the incident in the media.

For his part, her son wants to know why a boy he has known most of his life would do such a thing.

"If you can answer that, call me," said the youngster, dead serious. The victim said he wasn't unhappy to have an early Christmas vacation and Astles admitted her son may needs a break to regroup. But she wants people to know it wasn't a "silly" incident as one school official let on.

"They made it sound like it was an accident and it wasn't a big deal," she said.

In the meantime, her boy is trying to process what happened.

"Can I ask you a question?" he asked this reporter in all sincerity at the end of the interview.

"What would you think if it happened to you?"
Article ID# 815829

Police charge boy in BB-shooting case (comment on this story)
Posted 3 hours ago

A 12-year-old Grade 7 student is facing two criminal charges after an air gun was discharged at his school and a boy was hit with a plastic BB.

Police announced Thursday they were charging the boy with possession of a weapon for a dangerous purpose and for discharging an air gun or pistol with intent. He is to appear in youth court Jan. 24.

The charges were laid in connection with an incident that occurred Dec. 7 about 11 a.m. at recess at Northeastern Elementary School in Garson.

Another 12-year-old boy was hit in the leg with a plastic projectile that left a welt on his calf but didn't pierce the skin. The victim, who is also in Grade 7, didn't require medical attention although he was seen by a doctor Monday at his school's request.

Greater Sudbury Police and Rainbow District School Board conducted parallel investigations. Director of education Jean Hanson said Wednesday that seven students had been suspended because of the incident. The boy now charged criminally was immediately suspended Friday and six others were subsequently suspended.

Const. Bert Lapalme of Greater Sudbury Police said the parents of the 12-year-old alleged to have fired the air gun were allowed to surrender their son to police rather than have him arrested and brought to police headquarters in handcuffs.

The boy was fingerprinted, photographed and released in his parents' custody on a notice to appear in court in January.

Article ID# 817321
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Last edited by Flying Squirrel; December 13th, 2007 at 20:46.. Reason: Added Addition information.
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