Fargo Schools: Student Brought Airsoft Gun to School (Update) - Valley News Live - KVLY/KXJB - Fargo/Grand Forks

Fargo Schools: Elementary Student Brought Airsoft Gun to School

Fargo Schools:Student Brought Airsoft Gun to School (Update)

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Fargo Public Schools is still investigating a situation at Centennial Elementary after a male student brought an airsoft gun to school.

School official believe the student forgot the gun in his coat and didn't plan to hurt others. 

The fifth grader was not in school today, and many viewers spoke out online, saying the school overreacted.

Valley News Team reporter Ashley Bishop went to learn more about school procedures dealing with this type of situation.

Airsoft guns fire plastic pellets and are designed to look like real firearms. While an Airsoft gun is not legally a firearm, Fargo Public School policy calls it a weapon and bans all weapons from school property.

"Our policy basically states that we don't have guns, weapons on school property," Fargo Public School Superintendent Jeff Schatz explained, "so, we'll follow the policy guidelines and work with the student, family, and principal at the school."

The Fargo Public School elementary handbook states bringing a weapon to school warrants "disciplinary action [which] may include suspension or expulsion." It does not describe the policy as zero-tolerance.

"What we really try to do is just completely vet the situation out and make sure there is no harm or intention for any harm," Schatz told Valley News Live. "There really isn't a zero tolerance policy. There is room for the superintendent to look at the situation and make some different determinations that wouldn't be consider zero-tolerance."

The lack of a zero-tolerance policy requires Fargo schools to review incidents like Monday's on a case-by-case basis, and in this case, it is possible the student may not face any punishment. 

Community opinion is mixed. One parents suggesting the district give the student "some consequences [for Monday's incident], to show that he can't bring any of that to school."

Another commenter on Facebook disagreed, suggesting, in part: "there is no need to further embarrass the child and the parents. Things like this should be kept private between the school and the child's family."

Still others seemed surprised this was an issue at all. "Sounds extremely STUPID to take this seriously," another comment reads. "Don't they first need a serious real gun in order to take it seriously? THIS IS A TOY!!! PEOPLE ARE ABSOLUTELY OFF THE WALL NUTS!!!!"

The school reminds parents to be aware of what their children have on them when they leave for schools, in order to prevent situations like this from happening in the future. Centennial's principal and school counselor talked to kids about the incident today. The school district says it is handling the investigation. Fargo police were notified of the incident but are not involved since a real firearm was not used.

Original Story

Fargo Public Schools tell Valley News Live they are investigating a student at Centennial Elementary for bringing an airsoft gun to school Monday, February 24. Spokesperson AnnMarie Campbell says the school believes the student brought the gun to school by accident in his coat. Campbell says the student did not plan to hurt others. The student's teacher took the gun and notified school administrators.

Airsoft guns usually fire plastic pellets and are often designed to look like real weapons. Campbell says law enforcement was notified of the gun in the classroom and the school system is taking the situation seriously.

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