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Conval High School may expel teen who brought in gun

Union Leader Correspondent

October 29. 2013 8:28PM

PETERBOROUGH — A 14-year-old student who brought a gun to class last week has been suspended and is facing expulsion.

According to ConVal School District Superintendent Brendan Minnihan, police responded to Contoocook Valley Regional High School Oct. 23 after two other students reported to a teacher that a male student had brought a gun to school. The student was approached in a classroom and found to be in possession of a loaded hand gun, a revolver.

“At the moment the student has been suspended pending a hearing before the (SAU #1) Discipline Review Committee,” Minnihan said Tuesday.

The expulsion hearing will take place at the end of the week and would be closed to the public unless the family of the student asks for a public hearing, Minnihan said.

According to state law, the student could be expelled for 365 days or more — even permanently.

“Their job is to weigh the totality of the evidence and how it occurred or why it occurred, if there is reason behind it, any intent, if that can be determined,” Minnihan said.

Police Chief Scott Guinard said last week police plan to bring charges against the teen, pending the results of an investigation, Guinard said police have no information that “the student had threatened anyone, brandished the firearm, acted aggressively or overtly.”

School officials have not had contact with the student since the incident, Minnihan said, but did talk with the family regarding the hearing process. The student will have the opportunity to address the issue or answer questions at the hearing.

“The student, the student’s family or guardians in any case are invited and then they have the right to attend or not attend,” Minnihan said.

The superintendent said he appreciates how swiftly and accurately school officials communicated the event to parents. Staff members are reviewing the incident and safety at the high school campus to see where security can be added while still maintaining a welcoming school atmosphere, Minnihan said.

“Our staff did a nice job. I think we can always take the chance to review the process that we have and we will do that and we are doing that,” he said.

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