Getting Answers: parent concerned after BB gun brought to school

Getting Answers: parent concerned after BB gun brought to school
Updated: Jun. 8, 2022 at 6:00 PM EDT
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WEST SPRINGFIELD, MA (WGGB/WSHM) - A concerned parent reached out to our newsroom after a student brought a BB gun inside her daughter’s school. She’s feeling on edge and wants more to be done to keep her child safe at school.

A West Springfield mother received a text from her daughter earlier this week.

“She actually texted me from underneath the desk, saying that they were in a shelter in place. She didn’t really know what was going on,” said the mother, who wanted to remain anonymous.

Her daughter attends Hampden Charter School of Science in West Springfield. The mother was alerted by the school that a student had brought a BB gun to school that day.

This parent said school officials told her that the BB gun was inside the school building for about three and a half hours. With a recent school shooting in Uvalde, TX, this had this West Springfield mom feeling on edge..

“You never think that you’re going to text your child. If you hear gun shots, don’t say a word. Just call 911,” the mother said.

She said she feels even more on edge, knowing this student wasn’t charged by the police since you have to be 18 to carry and own a BB gun.

Western Mass News confirmed with the West Springfield police department that this student had not been charged and instead, the school would be handling disciplinary actions. However, they do have the option of filing charges at a later date.

“If we don’t take things like this seriously, next time, it could be a real gun,” the mother added.

We reached out to the Hampden Charter School of Science superintendent and received a statement that read, in part:

“Earlier this week, a 10th grade student at Hampden Charter School of Science-West brought a BB-gun to school. School security confiscated the gun, and the student was removed from the school building. No one was harmed or threatened. West Springfield police were notified and investigated. The safety of our students, teachers and staff guides our actions in response to potential threats. Our policy regarding any type of firearm on our school campus is clear, and disciplinary action can be harsh. In this case, school administrators have initiated disciplinary proceedings, but ultimately it is up to the police department to press criminal charges.”

The parent told us the school has assured her that the student will not be returning to the school this year.