GSMS student talks about bringing a gun to school
Post Independent Staff
GLENWOOD SPRINGS ” A Glenwood Springs Middle School student’s talk about bringing a gun to school prompted students to report the incident to school resource officer Steve Vaden.
Vaden is a Glenwood Springs patrol officer assigned to the school.
No gun was ever brought to school, and after assessing the incident, the Glenwood Springs Police Department took no action towards the student. The case was turned over to middle school administrators for disciplinary action.
Glenwood Springs police chief Terry Wilson said that on March 12, students reported to Vaden that they had witnessed a student discussing the consequences of bringing a gun to school.
“The thing that got the students’ attention was that the student’s talk went beyond just a passing interest,” said Wilson. “There were a lot of what if … what if … what if kinds of questions he was asking.”
According to Colorado Revised Statutes, any unlawful possession of a deadly weapon on public or private school grounds ” elementary, middle and high schools, technical and vocational schools, and colleges and universities included ” is a Class 6 felony.
Wilson said the students’ response in reporting the incident was “outstanding. It shows we have a really good line of communication between students and our student resource officers.”
Wilson said since the shootings at Columbine High School in Littleton in 1999, laws have become much harsher towards anyone bringing a deadly weapon onto school grounds.
“There’s no more gray area,” he said. “Since Columbine, there’s a less-than-zero tolerance.”
Wilson said Glenwood Springs police would respond to a minor bringing a deadly weapon to school by immediately transferring the individual to a Grand Junction juvenile detention facility, followed by a hearing in front of a judge within 48 hours.
He said Vaden and school administrators moved fairly quickly in the March 12 incident, contacting the student and meeting with him and his parents.
“It was an appropriate course of action,” Wilson said.
Besides complimenting the students who reported the incident, Wilson commended Vaden and Glenwood’s other school resource officers.
“This speaks well of our SROs,” he said. “They not only deal with me as their boss, but they are also responding to school administrators, kids and parents. It’s a nontraditional law enforcement role that takes a degree of sensitivity and balance.
“Plus, SROs are great connections for young people,” Wilson added. “We have kids and teens calling and asking for advice and information from our SROs all the time. They’re marvelous resources, because they’re someone in law enforcement the kids know and trust.”
Contact Carrie Click: 945-8515, ext. 518
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