LEHI, Utah — School district officials are pushing the severity of carrying firearms to class after a middle schooler brought a handgun in their backpack.
Lehi City Police was called to Lehi Junior High around 9 a.m. Wednesday morning after a student brought a handgun to campus.
“I don’t know what the issue is, it just keeps happening, it’s scary,” said Lt. Toby Peterson with the Lehi City Police Department.
Police said there was no threat to other students or faculty; by the time they arrived, the student had been pulled out of class and the weapon was secured.
Alpine School District reiterated that there was no threat to others, but said that does not mean it’s okay.
“There are no cases in which it justifies a student to bring a weapon to school,” said Kimberly Bird with Alpine School District.
Police said the middle schooler got the gun from a family member and had it for ‘personal reasons.’ Police would not tell FOX 13 what those personal reasons were, but according to Alpine School District, the student’s parent had no idea.
“The parent was very surprised and was not aware,” said Bird.
Alpine School District said the student told a friend about the firearm – it didn’t take long before that friend told a teacher and administration was able to get involved and call police.
“Kids aren’t falling behind and fearing, ‘What are people going to think of me?’ They’re stepping up and being courageous,” Bird said.
“Kids are saying, ‘Not in my school, not here, none of us want to be harmed, we want to be in a safe place,’” Bird continued, “That’s the only way learning can occur and that’s what our schools are for, learning.”
Even though there was never a threat, the school district fears kids aren’t understanding the severity of bringing a weapon to school.
“Obviously the message is still not getting to the kids,” said Bird. “We treat this very seriously, no longer is it a slap on the hand. It’s something that will have severe consequences, our student and employee safety is our priority. It’s something that we don’t mess around with.”
Police, nor the school district, would give any further information on the student but said once police finish their investigation the student will attend a hearing to determine if disciplinary action needs to be taken – that could include expulsion.