Ocean Springs student expelled for rifle in truck

Published 6:55 pm Wednesday, October 25, 2006

A male student has been expelled from Ocean Springs High School because the vehicle he recently drove to school contained a rifle, school officials said.

The student’s name and age have not been released.

State law calls for mandatory expulsion of students who are found with a weapon on school property.

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The rifle had been used on a recent hunting trip and was not loaded, Edna Waller, spokeswoman for the Ocean Springs School District, said of last week’s incident.

“We believe it was an oversight on the part of the student,” Waller said. “He is an avid outdoorsman, an avid hunter, and he just left it in there by mistake. No one was ever in danger of being harmed.”

Waller said the student will be sent to an alternative school, likely for the rest of the year.

School officials in south Mississippi have dealt with four similar cases this month.

Also last week, a 16-year-old from Bay High School was arrested after a teacher allegedly saw him reaching for a .25-caliber handgun hidden at the school. The boy was suspended pending a disciplinary hearing by the School Board.

A 17-year-old female student at Picayune Memorial High School was expelled less than two weeks ago for putting a .38-caliber handgun in her car before driving to school. The student was arrested and charged with possession of a firearm on school property on Aug. 24, according to a police report.

Resurrection High in Pascagoula expelled a 15-year-old student two weeks ago for bringing a gun to school. Police found a .22-caliber handgun in a garbage can in one of the school’s restrooms.