Dubuque, IA- A student attending Dubuque Senior High School was suspended after a BB gun allegedly belonging to the student was found inside of a car that was parked off of the school’s campus in a nearby neighborhood.
A parent of another student saw the BB gun in the car and called the police, who responded immediately and tracked down the student who allegedly owned the gun. There have been five other incidents this month involving Dubuque students in possession of BB guns.
Despite the fact that the gun never entered the school’s property, the student was suspended. Mike Cyze, the director of school and community relations for the Dubuque Community School District, explained the reason for the student’s suspension to news station KWWL:
“This morning’s incident occurred adjacent to campus during arrival time while other students were present. Police responded to the location of the vehicle as well as to Senior High School, at the time not knowing what, if any, threat may have existed. Given this, there was a significant disruption to the learning environment and having the student on campus would have continued that disruption throughout the day. 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. Disciplinary action, if any, is determined based on the results of that investigation.”
Cyze’s position as a communications director was created by the school board two years ago to assist in the transmission of information from the school to parents. “We just default to sharing that information with folks. Usually when it happens other students know about it. Word travels and we want to make sure folks know what the actual threat was,” Cyze told news station KCRG.
In a letter to parents, Dubuque Senior High School Principal Dan Johnson clarified that “there was never a threat to students or staff” and the BB gun “was not displayed in a threatening manner.” The Dubuque Community School District’s Weapons Policy states: “Weapons and other dangerous objects and look-a-likes shall be taken from students and others who bring them on to the School District properties or onto property within the jurisdiction of the School District (“school property”) or from students who are within the control of the School District.” It has not been clarified that the neighborhood where the BB gun was found falls within the jurisdiction of the school.