Pupil found with knife

Boy, 13, arrested, suspended, released into parents' custody

Police know of no threats

Other youths reported being shown weapon while riding on bus

March 20, 2001|By Jamie Manfuso | Jamie Manfuso,SUN STAFF

A 13-year-old East Middle School pupil was arrested after he took a knife to school last week, the third security violation in Carroll County schools in two weeks, police said.

Westminster police said they arrested the boy Friday morning after other pupils told school officials that he had shown them a knife while they were riding the bus to the Westminster school.

Authorities found a knife with a 2 1/2 -inch blade in the boy's pants pocket when he was called to the principal's office, police said.

Capt. Randy Barnes said police were not aware that the boy made any threats with the knife, but school officials said they take seriously any weapon brought onto school grounds.

"I think [pupils] clearly know that they're not supposed to bring weapons into school," said Cynthia Little, Carroll's director of pupil services. "I don't care if it's a 1-inch knife. They shouldn't bring weapons to school."

School officials and police said last week that the number of reported threats of school violence has increased since the school shooting March 5 in Santee, Calif., in which two students were killed and 13 people were injured.

A South Carroll High School senior was arrested March 13 on charges of misdemeanor assault after he was accused of making threats to harm or kill four or five students. A middle school pupil in South Carroll was suspended Friday after she wrote a suicide note in which police said she threatened two pupils.

"At least we have students being very active in providing information," Barnes said.

The boy arrested Friday has been suspended from school and released into his parents' custody, police said.

Under Carroll school regulations, students who take knives with blades 2 1/2 inches long or shorter onto school grounds may be suspended for up to five days at the discretion of the principal. Students found with blades more than 2 1/2 inches long are automatically suspended for five days. The punishment increases with subsequent offenses.

The boy has been charged with possession of a deadly weapon on school property and with theft under $500. The latter charge stems from the theft of a sign from a school bus Thursday, police said.

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