A student alerts their school resource officer that they saw a gun in the backseat of a car in the parking lot. When the SRO arrives, he sees a student reach into the backseat and come out with a rifle. The SRO yells at the student to drop the gun. The student is surprised by the SRO and turns to face him, with the gun pointing at the SRO. If this is me, is this my opportunity to stop a school shooting before it happens and save countless lives? Or is it simply that a student who left his hunting rifle in the car, and was attempting to place it in the trunk?
The above scenario isn’t very likely. Hunters, by and large, are very responsible and it’s unlikely that they would leave an uncased rifle or shotgun laying on the backseat. It is however very possible that someone could bring a gun to school before or after a hunting trip without even thinking about it. Consider that perhaps they packed their vehicle before school so they would be ready to leave sooner. Maybe they haven’t cleaned out their vehicle from hunting the day before. Or maybe they drove Dad’s vehicle to school today not knowing what was inside.
Whatever the reason, bringing a firearm or any weapon to school is a clear violation of school policy. This includes parking lots and any location where a school-sponsored activity is occurring. Bringing a weapon to school can result in suspension or even expulsion.
Fall in North Dakota means several students, parents and faculty will be participating in various forms of hunting. Those people at some time will load their vehicles with guns, bows and arrows, knives and ammunition. Please be vigilant and make sure none of those items end up on school property – don’t put yourself in a position where an officer or principal has to judge your intent.
(Chad Moen is the School Resource Officer at North High School. He can be reached at 446-2361, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.)