(St. Joseph News Press) – Two St. Joseph students have been arrested for allegedly bringing guns to Benton High School.
The St. Joseph School District is working with the St. Joseph Police Department regarding a situation at Benton High School involving guns brought to the school by a student. Friday afternoon, Benton High School parents received a ParentLink alert phone call from the district alerting them to the ongoing police investigation.
On Thursday, another student reported the incident to an officer, which prompted an investigation and arrests off school grounds, according to Beery Johnson, Benton High School principal.
“Everything was taken care of between last night and this morning. … At least one student was arrested by the time school started and I think another one was arrested a little bit after that,” said Johnson.
A press release from the St. Joseph School District said an initial investigation revealed that the guns were stolen by one student and brought to school for the purpose of exchanging them with another student. Police believe the weapons were not brought to the school with the intent to harm students, staff or faculty.
“We are thankful for the safe outcome of this situation and thank the police department for their quick actions that kept our Benton Cardinal family safe,” Joey Austin, director of communications for the district, said in the release. “The safety of all of our students is a top priority and we take each concern of student and staff safety seriously.”
Bringing a weapon to school violates the Safe School Act and the students could be suspended for up to 10 days by the principal and face additional suspension by the school district.
“We will recommend the maximum allowed suspension which is 365 days,” Johnson said.
Students are encouraged to talk to the police or Benton staff members with any additional information regarding this situation.
“We all need to be aware of our surroundings and know what’s going on. … Parents, talk to your students,” Johnson said. Students never want to be snitches, but we need to let others know about a safety issue like this when it comes up so we can take care of it.”