Police in Price City, Utah, claim that a student brought an unloaded gun to school on Wednesday. Authorities say that during the late-morning hours the eighth-grader took a friend aside for a private show-and-tell session. Police claim after showing the weapon, the student hid the gun somewhere on the junior high school grounds.
School administrators say that the student who claims to have seen the gun notified staff, leading to a lockdown at Mont Harmon Junior High. Authorities from several law enforcement agencies descended upon the school, and police began questioning the student who alleged displayed the weapon. Authorities say that the student initially denied the allegations, but later directed officers to the location of the gun. Law enforcement says that no ammunition was involved in the incident.
Police arrested the eighth-grader, who was processed at the Price Youth Detention Facility. It is not clear what charges, if any, authorities may bring, as the investigation is ongoing.
When school administrators or resource officers look into an alleged incident at school, it can be a daunting experience for a student. The pressure a student feels as school officials look into disciplinary matters can be enormous. When a school investigation turns into a police investigation, the stakes can become higher.
The juvenile justice system in Utah operates a bit differently than the criminal justice system for adults. In general, juvenile justice is aimed, at least in part, at giving kids who allegedly make mistakes at getting a second chance. The system is primarily setup with rehabilitation in mind. But, that does not mean that significant consequences are not possible in juvenile court; the consequences can be long-lasting.
Source: Salt Lake Tribune, “Price eighth-grader in custody after bringing unloaded gun to school,” April 23, 2014