North gun scare draws police

By Astha Agarwal
Published: December 2010

After a student mistook another student’s lighter for a gun, Newton North went on lockdown for an hour on December 13. The lockdown began at about 9:30 AM and although classes resumed at approximately 10:15 AM, police remained stationed at the only two entrances open to the school.
A 16-year old student had a butane lighter tucked into his pants so that only the pistol grip handle, which closely resembled that of a gun, was visible. Another student who noticed the lighter suspected it to be a gun and reported it to a department head. Soon the administration informed the police, and along with them, searched for the student. The police found him just outside of school grounds at about 11:45 AM returning to school for a class after leaving earlier that day.
The student was then taken to the police station, where he and his family spoke with the police. His family assured the police that he did not have a handgun, but the student did admit that he had a lighter.
North students, however, were not informed of the situation until it had been resolved.
“They didn’t actually tell us what was going on until it was over, North freshman Paroma Mullick said. “Most people thought it was just a drill, except then it was really long.
In an e-mail North principal Jen Price sent to parents, she praised the student who brought the potential safety concern to the attention of the faculty, as well as the police, faculty, and students, for their excellent response.
Although the 16-year old student in possession of the lighter will face no criminal charges, he may face disciplinary action from school.

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