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  Monday September 1st, 2014    

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Hannon: teen had gun in school in May; a parent knew (10/06/2013)
By Jen Burris
A Winona Senior High School student recently arrested for possessing a gun on school property had been taking the gun to school as far back as May, according to Superintendent Scott Hannon. According to police, the teen at one time pointed the loaded revolver at a classmate's head while on high school property.

“A parent knew about it last May, and students, but nobody came forward until Thursday [Sept. 26] afternoon,” Hannon said.

Hannon explained that as soon as administrators were notified of the weapon on school property, a liaison officer was brought in to help the principal interview students. These interviews confirmed that the student had brought the gun to school on several occasions.

Hannon called upon parents, students and staff to be aware of potential harm, be it drugs, suicide, or weapons, and to notify an adult or law enforcement agent. Hannon said such crucial reporting could be done anonymously if a witness is afraid of repercussions.

“We can’t deal with it unless we know about it,” Hannon explained. “If you see something, say something.”

An accident can happen just trying to show the weapon off, and having a dangerous weapon is never safe, Hannon added.

Board Chairperson Mohamed Elhindi reiterated Hannon’s statements, explaining that there is a responsibility for a child, student, teacher, parent, or administrator who witnesses something to bring that information forward.

“You will not be in harm's way by reporting an incident,” Elhindi said. “You’re a hero in my book; you’re saving lives.”

On Thursday, September 26, school administration received a report of a student carrying a handgun on campus. After an investigation by the administration and police, a 15-year-old student was arrested last Monday morning on school property for second-degree assault, possession of a dangerous weapon on school property, and terroristic threats. A .22-caliber handgun, believed to be the one the boy was carrying, was found at a relative’s house.

Hannon said in an interview that the teen will not be returning to the high school. 

 

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