Southeast Missouri boy suspended after shooting BB gun on bus

Thursday, December 9, 2010

PIEDMONT, Mo. -- A Clearwater Middle School student faces a long-term suspension after allegedly firing a BB gun on a school bus.

An eighth-grade student brought a BB gun to the middle school on Friday, according to Clearwater Superintendent Blane Keel.

"He kept it wrapped in a coat in a backpack in the front lobby of the middle school" during the day, he said.

At the end of classes, Keel said, the boy boarded his bus at the middle school, which then went to the elementary school.

"They were in the process of loading elementary students; it was not a completely full bus, but there were several children on the bus" at that time, Keel said.

While the bus was parked in front of the elementary school, "he got the gun out to show a friend," Keel explained. "The friend asked if it worked, and he said that it did. He discharged it into the seat he was sitting in."

The bus driver, Keel said, contacted the student, as well as elementary principal Charles Brown, who was called onto the bus and "conducted a search of the young man."

Keel said the boy was taken off the bus and told the authorities were being contacted.

The boy subsequently told Brown he had a BB gun on the bus, Keel said. "He got back on the bus and retrieved it from under the seat," where it had been hidden, he said.

Piedmont authorities still were contacted, and the student was taken into custody, Keel said.

"The young man had no malice or anger at anyone," Keel explained. "He was bringing the gun to show a friend he was spending the night with, but because he discharged the BB gun on the bus, he was suspended for long-term," more than 30 days.

The boy has been suspended for the remainder of this semester and will be suspended into the second semester for the month of January, then, when he returns to school, he will be placed in an alternative school, Keel said.

"Kids do stupid things because they are kids (but) they also have to answer for their actions," Keel said.

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