ConVal student could face charges for gun incident
PETERBOROUGH — Juvenile delinquent charges are expected to be filed against a Contoocook Valley Regional High School student who brought a loaded gun to school on Wednesday.
Peterborough Police Chief Scott Guinard said Thursday the incident is a juvenile matter and he would not discuss what specific charges are being filed against the 14-year-old Peterborough resident.
“He is being held accountable,” Guinard said. “But until we actually file juvenile delinquent charges in the court,” he said he would not discuss what those charges would be.
Six police officers responded to the high school Wednesday at 1:15 p.m., Guinard said, and at that point it was unknown whether the gun was loaded or not.
“The individual fully cooperated with us,” he said. The loaded hand gun was seized and the student was removed.
The student was taken to the Peterborough police station as the investigation continued. He was released to his parents later in the evening hours, Guinard said.
Guinard said juvenile charges do not carry bail conditions and police have no authority whether the student returns to school or not. That would be a school matter, he said.
“The individual will be held accountable under New Hampshire law,” Guinard said.
When asked if the student had made any threats, Guinard referred to his Wednesday statement, that police have no information at this time that “the student had threatened anyone, brandished the firearm, acted aggressively or overtly.”
ConVal School District Superintendent Brendan Minnihan said Thursday morning that school officials were alerted about the gun after two students reported to a teacher that the student had brought the gun to school.
The teacher called police and a member of the school administration team and school counselor went to the classroom where the student was currently in class, Minnihan said.
“When they were down there they were joined by members of Peterborough police,” Minnihan said.The class was just getting out so as students left, the student was told to stay in the room, he said. “The student had been isolated in the classroom.”
He was questioned by police, he cooperated fully and handed the gun over to police, Minnihan said. The handgun was a revolver that the student had in a bag with him in the classroom.
Minnihan said the student is not currently attending school.
“The student is not in school. There are definite procedures that we would follow,” Minnihan said.
Minnihan said he could not talk about the student, but said the school district is bound by its own procedures as well as the state and federal Safe Schools Act.
A district administrator and the district’s legal counsel are to review the laws the school district is bound by.
In referring to the Safe Schools Act, Minnihan said, “In general terms when an individual brings a gun to school there is an expulsion hearing that takes place and generally there is an expulsion, but every case is different.”
Before the end of the school day, ConVal High School Principal Brian Pickering issued a letter to all high school teachers that was read in each classroom so all students were aware of the incident.
Additionally, parents received a voice message alert to inform them about the incident.
All school board members and staff throughout the school district were also notified by email.