CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (WCIA) — It was a scary morning for some Champaign kids when a student tried to bring a pellet gun to school. It was found on a bus full of Dr. Howard students. A kid showed the pellet gun to another student and that student told the driver.
Officers from the Champaign County Sheriff’s Office searched the student’s backpack at a bus stop and found the gun. They didn’t find any pellets. That bus was delayed so officers could make sure students were safe. Parents got an email around 11:30 a.m. explaining what happened. Most say they’re just glad no one was hurt.
“That’s part of being in the public school district. There’s always that risk, but I do feel like the school has a good plan in place. I know the kids practice ALICE drills and they have a plan and my kids know what to do in case of someone bringing a weapon to school,” said mother Amanda Jarvis.
Another parent we talked to said they were happy the school was quick to contact parents about this. In the past, they say the district has taken too long to let parents know what was going on. For example, they said it took days for the district to notify them when a student was hurt during a fight at the school this fall. Another parent said they feel parents should check students bags before they leave for school. They added that they don’t suggest letting pellet guns get in the hands of elementary school children.
The student who was hurt this past September was injured during what the school called “play-fighting”. However, her family said the student was attacked. The fight left the 10-year-old with a deep gash on her stomach. Police ruled her injury was accidental and said it came from the latch on the bathroom stall door.
Below is the full letter sent to parents by the school district.
Dear Dr. Howard Families:
This morning, the Unit 4 Transportation Department discovered that a student aboard bus 165 serving Dr. Howard students brought an airsoft pellet gun onto the bus. The student proceeded to show another student and the driver was alerted.
Officers from the Champaign County Sheriff’s Office arrived at the bus stop, searched the student’s backpack and found the pellet gun. No pellets were found.
The bus was delayed on its way to school to allow law enforcement the opportunity to ensure student safety. No one was injured.
The matter will be addressed in accordance with the Student Code of Conduct. Please know that we work closely with local law enforcement to ensure the continued safety of all Unit 4 students and staff members.”