Students have brought weapons to Columbia middle schools before, but such incidents are rare, according to data from the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.
A Smithton Middle School student was taken into custody Monday for carrying a gun in his backpack while riding the bus home. The student also had the gun during the school day, according to a Monday email sent to Smithton parents from Columbia Public Schools spokeswoman Michelle Baumstark.
Monday’s weapon incident is the first at the school since 2010, according to the Department of Education website. The site, which contains data going back to 2008, shows three incidents that year, two in 2009 and one in 2010. Every other middle school in the Columbia Public Schools district has had at least one weapon incident since 2010.
On Monday, another student told the driver a student on the bus a gun in his backpack. The driver confiscated the gun without incident and called police.
District policy says having a weapon on school property can result in a one-year suspension or expulsion.