Parents on Edge after Unloaded Firearm Found in Student’s Backpack

Thursday morning, at approximately 7:12 AM, as students gathered outside of Excelsior Springs Middle School waiting to be let in, a student reported to a teacher that another student had a gun in their backpack. The student who reported the gun said he approached the individual who was sitting on a bench outside the school and struck up a conversation. As they chatted the suspect told him that he had a gun and reportedly showed him the firearm inside his backpack. The student went to a nearby teacher and told them about the situation. 

According to a statement published by the Excelsior Springs School District on their social media channels, the middle school staff took swift action alerting the School Resource Officer who immediately took control of the situation and by 7:15 AM had retrieved the student and the weapon. ESSD said, the firearm was found unloaded in the suspect’s backpack and no ammunition was found, which they felt helped de-escalate the situation. Amazingly, the intense situation caused no delay to the start of the classes. However, according to multiple students, classrooms throughout the building remained on lockdown status for the rest of the day. 

ESSD, responding to a parent on social media, stated that information about the situation was relayed to middle school parents through a mass email via the SchoolMessenger application at 8:21 AM. Many parents expressed concern over what they felt was a lack of communication with some saying they only learned of the event when they saw the information on social media. Other parents stated they felt like there should have been a school-wide alert issued as a phone message. Luckily, the outcome of the situation was not more serious and the school and community can evaluate the situation and make improvements for any future incidents. 

The Excelsior Springs Middle School Student Handbook states that the punishment for a student bringing a firearm to school will be, “One calendar year suspension unless modified by the superintendent or expulsion unless modified by the Board upon recommendation by the superintendent..” 

  • ESSD Middle School Weapons Policy
    Possession or Use of Firearms or Dangerous Weapons. Possession or use of a firearm as defined in 18 U.S.C. § 921 or any instrument or device defined in § 571.010, RSMo., or any instrument or device defined as a dangerous weapon in 18 U.S.C. § 930(g)(2).
    First Offense:
    One calendar year suspension unless modified by the superintendent or expulsion unless modified by the Board upon recommendation by the superintendent.
    Subsequent Offense:
    Expulsion.

ESSD made additional statements in the comments of their Facebook post letting parents and the community know that counseling services would be made available to students upon request. The school district also commended the student who made the initial report stating, “Your courage and responsibility in sharing this information played a pivotal role in our ability to address the situation swiftly and effectively.”

Any updates to this story will be made as they become available.

*Story research and photos by Mackenzie Cole and Brody Hurla.

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1 thought on “Parents on Edge after Unloaded Firearm Found in Student’s Backpack”

  1. All parents should always be notified in any situation like this. Not alerting all parents only leads to miss information and fear. Was that student a bus rider? If so that involved more then just middle school students. That you Lord that they were able to handle thus situation swiftly and without anyone being hurt. And thank you again to the student that came forward to report the gun. Prayers for all involved.

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