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BB Gun-Carrying Student Disciplined at Bala Cynwyd Middle School, Principal Says

No one was injured; an eighth-grader reportedly faces charges in juvenile court.

A Bala Cynwyd Middle School student brought a BB gun to school Thursday, prompting a police response, principal Jason Potten announced on the school's web site and in a letter to parents.

Main Line Media News reported an eighth-grade student was arrested and will face charges in juvenile court.

Potten's letter reads as follows:

Earlier today, we received information that a student was in possession of an air gun ("air-soft BB gun") on school property. We immediately located the student, who turned over the air gun to administrators. We explained to the student in no uncertain terms that NO weapons of ANY kind are permitted on school property, regardless of whether they are legally obtained and/or perceived to be a "toy." The student's parents and law enforcement have been consulted and the student will be appropriately disciplined, in accordance with school district policy and applicable laws.

As you know, student safety is our number one priority. We have absolutely no tolerance for any actions that compromise the security and well-being of our students. Your support and cooperation in emphasizing this message is essential.

It should also be noted that students play a critical role in ensuring a safe and secure school environment. Programs like Olweus help students build the skills, confidence and sense of responsibility to effectively report unsafe or suspicious behavior to adults. In today's incident, a student provided important information that led us to act. We encourage you to reiterate to your child the importance and value of immediately finding an adult when confronted with an unsafe situation.

Thank you for your attention to this matter. If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact me, your child's assistant principal or guidance counselor anytime.

Peter February 15, 2013 at 02:42 PM
Shouldn't metal detectors be placed in the entrances of the local schools? How many other guns are in the school? This should not be happening.
Glenn Kramer February 15, 2013 at 08:59 PM
In the 1960s in NYC members of the high school shooting club would bring their rifles to school on the bus. My high school in Philadelphia had a fencing team during that same time period. There was never any trouble. Meanwhile while the police were busy arresting this student the Sovereign Bank branch in the GSB building in Bala was being robbed. I'm starting to think that the bank tellers should be packing.
JEFFREY February 16, 2013 at 02:17 AM
TO PETER: I can't disagree with you. It shouldn't be happening, but it does and that's a fact of life. Maybe metal detectors would work on guns, but some knives are made of ceramics and other plastics and won't trigger the alarm.
JEFFREY February 16, 2013 at 02:28 AM
TO GLEN KRAMER: Back in the 60's many of us could leave our doors unlocked, but those days are LONG GONE. I too, took up fencing in the 60s at high school. I wish things were the way they were back then, but sadly, they are not. That was 53 years ago and we have more and new threats to deal with. For your information, while the police were arresting a juvenile at the Middle School, you say the bank at the GSB building was being robbed. Do you really think that the entire Lower Merion Police Department was at the Middle School? They are dispacted to specific area to patrol and at no time, do police abandon one section to respond to another without sectional back up. That also keeps someone from creating a diversion of police officers to one area and leave other areas unguarded. The police who were patroling the GSB Building section were not involved with the juvenile incident as there was coverage in every section of Lower Merion Township 24 hours a day, every day. I can't tell if you were blaming the police for responding to a juvenile crime and not the bank robbery or not, but it sure sounded like it.

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