MMSD parent calls for protocol review after BB gun brought to school
MADISON, Wis. — At least one parent is calling for the Madison school district to change its security protocol when it comes to weapons on campus after a student was taken into custody after police say he brought a BB gun to school.
Virginia Kubat-Shub has one student at Toki Middle school and two at Oakridge, a school connected to the same building. She wants stricter protocols in place when it comes to determining when to lock down a school.
“I do think that policies need to be changed because I think it should be worded different where it was a weapon. We know there was a weapon in school. We need to lock it down until police arrive and they assess the situation and remove the threat from the school,” Kubat-Shub said.
Her concerns come after a Toki Middle School student was taken to the juvenile reception center for bringing a BB gun to school Tuesday, according to a news release from the Madison Police Department.
Officials said school staff members received a tip around 8:30 a.m. that the 13-year-old boy potentially had a weapon. Following the tip, officials checked his backpack and discovered the BB gun. Kubat-Shub said with the frequency of school shootings, including last month’s Parkland, Florida shooting, there should be stricter policies in place.
“I keep thinking about the parents that lost their children. I would be lost without my kids and the fact is that I don’t think the school district is taking it as seriously as what I think they need to,” she said.
Staff received a tip around 8:30 a.m. Following protocol, the student was brought to the principal’s office, Madison police checked his backpack and discovered the BB gun and immediacy took him into custody.
The school district says they only initiate lock downs when there is an immediate threat to safety. A threat of that nature would include if a weapon was displayed, which they said was not the case.
“We’ve done a lot of training around this. Unfortunately, these facsimile weapons, these BB guns have appeared in our schools more times than I care to think of, but our staff recognized it, heard the information, took it very seriously and moved on it quickly,” said Joe Balles, MMSD safety and security coordinator.
Even if a threat doesn’t rise to the level of a lockdown, balles says they take each threat seriously.
“We’re able to safely remove the student, get him to comply, a lot of the times it’s this BB gun situations where the kids have them in their lockers or backpacks for who knows what reason but it’s a matter of removing them from the classroom, getting them to usually the principal’s office, bring MPD in and we do the search,” he said.
Balles added that tips from students help keep schools safe and are often the way staff is informed of security issues at school.
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