Airsoft pistol brought to school

Jun. 03, 2014 @ 03:23 PM

Thomasville City Schools plans to address the difference between weapons and toys in the wake of Tuesday's incident at Liberty Drive Elementary where a 9-year-old boy brought an Airsoft Pistol to school.
According to Superintendent Dr. Maria Pitre-Martin, TCS administrators and school resource officers are coming up with a way to make students aware that BB guns and Airsoft pistols, while considered toys to some children, are in fact weapons and a serious violation if found on school property.
“I definitely have had discussions with administrators here in the central office as well as a few of our principals regarding BB guns,” Pitre-Martin said. “We have planned to work with our SRO to really develop talking points with our students to talk with them about the fact that this is not a toy and that it is serious to have it in your possession. We have started discussing what type of presentation we can make to students to convey that message.”
On Tuesday afternoon at 2:20 p.m., administrators at Liberty Drive alerted the SRO that a 9-year-old boy brought an unloaded Airsoft pistol to school in his backpack. Pitre-Martin said another student saw the pistol, which uses plastic pellets and either compressed gas or a spring-drive piston to fire, in his backpack and alerted a teacher.
“The student had not taken it out in any threatening way,” said Pitre-Martin. “It was something that I think the student just brought to school in his backpack. We can't speculate his exact intent but we know that when it was discovered it was not being used to threaten anyone or used with any malice. It just happened to be in his book bag.”
An investigation is being conducted by the SRO due to the violation of the student code of conduct.
“In reality, it is a weapon,” Pitre-Martin. “They can cause damage. You can't be too careful. It may look like a toy but it's not, and we take it very, very seriously, which is why we got law enforcement involved.”
According to a Thomasville Police Department press release, the case was forwarded to Davidson County Juvenile Services for further review.

Staff Writer Eliot Duke can be reached at 888-3578, or duke@tvilletimes.com.