A student brings a handgun to Middletown Middle School; backpacks prohibited until further notice

LOWER SWATARA TOWNSHIP, Pa. (WHTM) — A student at Middletown Area Middle School was taken into custody Thursday, Feb. 10, after a group of students reported to the school counselor that the student had brought a weapon to school fire.

According to a statement released to parents and guardians of the Middletown School District in the afternoon, the school counselor took action, located the student and initiated a search.

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“Every time it all happened initially I was really confused a bit scared because we don’t have a lot of lockdowns or things like that in Middletown, but by the time we found out, pretty shocked,” said eighth grader Myra Lauver. .

The counselor found the handgun within two minutes of being notified and confiscated it without incident.

The college administration initially issued a statement to parents notifying them of an incident requiring local police.

“On Thursday morning, February 10, 2022, an incident occurred at Middletown Area Middle School which required the administration to notify local police. The Lower Swatara Police Department is currently investigating the situation. There is no imminent threat and all students and staff are safe.

Middletown Area High School

At the time of the incident, police officers from Lower Swatara were dispatched to the college where they teamed up with members of the school administration to investigate further.

“In closing, we certainly understand that everyone has gone through very stressful and difficult times. Our society has faced the pandemic and now a wave of violence that is beginning to sweep through schools across the country. Sadly, this has become the state of our country,” Superintendent of Schools Dr. Chelton L. Hunter said in the statement.

The student in custody “will not be returned to the Middletown Area School District,” the statement said. Students who are caught with weapons are subject to school district disciplinary action as well as the possibility of criminal charges through our local police departments.

“I am extremely upset right now. Not that my kid had any contact with the other kid at all, but the fact that there was a gun in that school, and I didn’t find out until 2 p.m. noon, basically when they were coming home and it was just like they are supposed to protect us and keep us informed so that we can protect our children, ”said Adel Hill, an upset parent. “But if they don’t really tell us what’s going on, how can we do that?”

A follow-up statement released Thursday to parents and families of students said backpacks will not be permitted at the college until further notice.

“If a student brings a backpack to school, the backpack will be labeled with the student’s name and placed in the office until the student can retrieve the backpack upon dismissal. If a student attends physical education classes during the day, they can bring their sports clothes to school in a transparent plastic bag,”

Shannon Wevodau, principal of the college, said in the released statement

On Friday, February 11, the college also had an on-campus police presence from the Middletown and Lower Swatara Township Police Departments. To help students who need additional support to manage Thursday’s events, additional counselors have also been made available.

The superintendent says that if the student is not comfortable reporting concerns to a member of staff, they can submit anonymous advice to the Safe2Say Something system using the app or website.

February 11, 11:00 p.m. Update:

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