Student brings unloaded gun to Westlane Middle School

Entrance of Westlane Middle School. (WTHR Photo)
Student caught with gun at school
Ivy Tech professor speaks on guns in schools

INDIANAPOLIS (WTHR) – It all started at Westlane Middle School when teachers noticed a group of students acting kind of strange.

The principal at Westlane Middle School notified parents about a gun found at school Tuesday morning.

Strange behavior from a group of students got the teachers attention. The teachers who observed the behavior, according to the principal’s letter to parents, notified the school security staff and administrators right away.

When they investigated, they learned about a student apparently showing off a weapon.

Dr. Megan Oed is a behavioral expert who is a professor at Ivy Tech College.

“Students who bring weapons to school may be trying to impress their friends or even intimidate the students they don’t like,” said Oed.

When questioned, the student admitted to having a handgun in his backpack.

The district later released a statement saying that administrators removed the gun from the student’s locker.

"I am extremely disappointed to inform you that a student brought an unloaded handgun to school today,” Westlane Middle School Principal Bill Pitcock said in the letter to parents.

Eyewitness News learned the student is an 11-year-old boy who is now the third Washington Township student caught with a gun this year.

On Aug. 20, a North Central High School student reportedly took a gun to school.

Then on Aug. 23, a Northview Middle School student had a pellet gun in their backpack.

“If you have a firearm in the house you should make sure it’s secure,” Oed said. “You should have a conversation with your children about the dangers and talk about limitations centered around them not touching weapons.”

Just like school officials, Oed urges parents to talk to their children about the dangers of taking a weapon to school. She also urges parents to spell out the consequences along with the rules set not only by their school district, but also state laws.

Violating the school’s zero tolerance weapons policy results in the state required mandatory suspension from school for having a gun on campus.

That also comes with an automatic recommendation for expelling the student for a full school calendar year.

“Younger students may not be able to grasp the consequences of taking a weapon to school,” said Oed.

Fortunately, no one got hurt in any of the incidents involving a gun on the school campuses.