Quick Thinking Prevented Incident, Some Say

By: Sherene Tagharobi Email
By: Sherene Tagharobi Email

Dansville Middle School students walked the halls safe and sound Wednesday, thanks in large part, some say, to quick thinking in a time of crisis.

"After you've reviewed and practiced these lockdowns, when the real thing happens, you're ready to go," said Superintendent Amy Hodgson.

The real thing happened Tuesday when a middle schooler brought a loaded handgun to school and put it in his locker. Two fellow students saw the gun, and told adults.

"These two students did the right thing, and they are heros in our school. They really are," Hodgson said.

Hodgson says the school of just 215 students may not have metal detectors but does have strong communication between children and staff. Major Joel Maatman of the Ingham County Sheriff's Office says that makes all the difference.

"Kudos to the staff there at the school for having these good positive relationships with their students so they can come and say, 'hey, this really is wrong and you need to know this,'" Maatman said.

Superintendent Hodgson couldn't discuss how the student would be disciplined, but did say Dansville schools follow the Michigan revised school code.

Michigan law requires schools to expel students who bring weapons onto school grounds. One parent thinks that's a good idea.

"I don't believe he should be able to come back to school for a while until they figure out what was going on to make him bring a gun to school," said parent Sarah West.

That's something the sheriff's office is investigating.

"To see if there were any signals or messages sent out in social networking that something big was going to happen, somebody was after somebody, some illegal intent was there," Maatman said.

So far, Maatman says it doesn't look like anyone was a target, but it's still hard to say what the student's intention was with the gun.

The sheriff's office says it will at minimum seek felony charges.

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