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Lakeview student brings loaded gun to school

5/6/2004

by Mark Vasto
Landmark reporter

A student at Lakeview Middle School in the Park Hill district was suspended for 10 days and faces possible expulsion and criminal charges after bringing a loaded .357 caliber handgun to school last Monday.

According to school officials, a group of students alerted Principal Jim Dunn after overhearing other students talking about having a weapon in the school. The school locked down, and and school officials worked with Platte County Sheriff’s Deputy Jason Lederer, the Lakeview school resource officer, to secure the weapon.

The boy later admitted to both his parents and the Platte County Sheriff’s Department that he had stolen the gun from the home of an acquaintance.

The 13-year-old was held in the Clay County Juvenile Detention Center, awaiting a decision from the state court as to whether he would be certified to stand trial as an adult. If certified, the matter would be forwarded to the Platte County prosecutor’s office.

“He’s a juvenile, so right now everything that is happening to him is being handled by Missouri Juvenile Services,” Prosecutor Eric Zahnd explained. “At this point my office has no involvement until he is certified to be handled as an adult. Absent a court order, I can’t even get access to juvenile records.”

Park Hill school officials said that the quick resolution to the matter showed that their crisis response plan is effective and that student safety is their number-one priority.

“I am very proud of the students who reported the weapon, as well as the staff members, who all acted immediately to put the crisis plan into place,” Dunn said. “I am also very grateful that the Park Hill Board of Education and the Platte County Sheriff’s Department worked together to make sure that we have a sheriff’s deputy stationed here at Lakeview during school hours.”

 
 

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