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CONVAL

Loaded gun found at ConVal

Boy, 14, taken out of classroom, but police say there is no indication of violence planned Wednesday

Peterborough police removed a student from a ConVal High School classroom Wednesday afternoon after he was found to be in possession of a loaded gun.

Police Chief Scott Guinard said police were called to the school at about 1:15 p.m., after administrators were notified of a 14-year-old male student with a hand gun. Police seized the gun and took the student into custody, removing him immediately from school property.

“At this time, police have no information that the student had threatened anyone, brandished the firearm, acted aggressively or overtly,” Guinard wrote in a statement released Wednesday afternoon.

“My understanding is that the student may have shown [the gun] to a student or two, who alerted a teacher,” ConVal School Superintendent Brendan Minnihan said Wednesday.

The teacher immediately notified administrators, who immediately notified police.

ConVal Principal Brian Pickering said a school administrator and a school counselor went to the classroom where the student was, while Pickering waited at the front entrance and then escorted police to the classroom. Police arrived as classes were changing, and the 14-year-old was asked to remain in the classroom while other students left, and was then questioned by police.

“When questioned, the student fully cooperated and admitted to having a weapon,” Minnihan wrote in a memo distributed to ConVal district staff after the incident. “The police took possession of the weapon and the student was then escorted by police to the police station.”

Because of his age the student is being treated as a juvenile under New Hampshire law. Guinard said the boy lives in Peterborough and was released to the custody of his parents. Guinard said the case is under investigation by Peterborough police and charges will be forthcoming.

Minnihan said no students were evacuated from the high school, but sections of the building were closed off while administrators and police dealt with the situation.

Pickering said the situation was resolved very quickly.

“The communication from the students was critically important,” he said. “Everything happened within minutes. It was quick, it was calm. I was very proud of how everyone pulled together.”

After police left, Pickering and Minnihan wrote the memo about the incident, which Minnihan said was read aloud to students in each classroom before the end of the school day.

“Our staff and our students did such a good job,” Minnihan said. “They addressed it immediately and we kept all our kids safe.”

When someone is arrested for DWI, their driving privileges are revoked. When a minor brings a loaded weapon into school, its clear that his parents aren't acting responsibly -- with potentially devastating consequences. Common sense would indicate the parents should not be allowed to own/possess a firearm for a specified period of time, and that they must also undertake a firearms safety course. This isn't the only recommendation/punishment that I'd suggest, but it certainly is one of them.

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