Airsoft Gun Gets Sixth-Grader Suspended

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Police say two 12-year-old students are responsible for a gun scare at Parkside Middle School in Jackson. One gave the other an airsoft gun and that student started making threats.

"The gun in the middle is a Sig Sauer nine millimeter, that's very similar to the current duty pistols that we carry and quite often that's the size and look of gun that we will run into," said Lieutenant Elmer Hitt, of the City of Jackson Police Department. On Wednesday police ran into a similar airsoft gun.

It happened Wednesday morning. The student had the gun in his waist.

"It looks like a real gun and being in his belt line caused quite a bit of fear in the people who saw it and immediately it was taken," said Superintendent Dan Evans of Jackson Public Schools.

The gun was not loaded but was intimidating. District officials say if it looks like a weapon, they treat it as such.

"Because it instills the same kind of fear and students yesterday were very upset about seeing what appeared to them to be a weapons so we have to take a hard stand on that," said Evans.

Now the student is on a ten day suspension, and is facing expulsion and could be out for an entire year.

"People don't have time to see if that's a real gun or not because people are getting killed in school where we think that our children are safe at," said Sandra Charleston, a parent who has kids in Jackson Schools. "Parents should talk to their kids about how serious guns are and that they kill."

While airsoft guns are called "fake" or "replica" firearms, Jackson officers are quick to point out that they are real, they do use plastic bullets and they can hurt people.

"He obviously knew he made a mistake and those are the things that we'll hear from him in his discipline hearing," said Evans suspended student.

This isn't the first encounter Jackson Public Schools has had with airsoft guns. Last year a 7th grade student brought one to school, and the previous year an 8th grader brought one.

Jackson Public Schools will schedule an expulsion hearing with the student and his parents sometime in the next 10 days.

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