A student in the Winona school district has been expelled for bringing a loaded gun to school on several occasions.
It's lunch time at Winona Senior High school, a time for students to socialize about homework, classes and weekend plans, but lately educators had hoped a certain kind of chatter would have been brought to their attention.
“Boy, a loaded hand gun, and nobody said anything?” ask the district’s superintendent Dr. Scott Hannon. “Boy, that's really disturbing.”
Late last week a parent and students told school officials a 15-year old boy brought a gun to school.
“I think the concern is really with the adults, like, ‘Wow, there was potential here (that) it could have been a huge tragedy,” said Hannon.
After talking to the student, police took away a pellet gun he had, but as they continued investigating, more disturbing details emerged.
“There was actually another gun that had been brought to school as well, which turned out to be a 22-revolver-style weapon, and as the investigation progressed, we found out that that gun had been pointed at another student within the past couple of weeks,” said Chief Paul Bostrack, of the Winona Police Department.
At a school where more than 80 security cameras are scattered throughout the building and safety specialists guard the entrance, educators found out this student brought the loaded gun to school several times -- dating to as far back as last May.
“This just goes to show that it can happen at any place,” said Hannon.
While educators are thankful nothing serious happened, they hope this will serve as a good reminder for everyone to be vigilant and not be hesitant to speak up.
“I think to get the word out to parents, staff and especially to our students, that it's ok to say something,” said Hannon. “It's OK to come forward even discretely and mention something so that we can deal with it and find out whether there's truth to it or not, but by not saying anything, the potential for tragedy is there.”
Winona Police are still investigating, but Bostrack said the gun belong to a relative of the student.
The student could face felony charges for second-degree assault, bringing a fire arm onto school property and possessing a fire arm by an individual under the age of 18.