GREAT FALLS — A Great Falls teen is facing a charge of disorderly conduct after he reportedly brought an Airsoft gun on a school bus on Tuesday, December 21, 2021.
The Great Falls Police Department says that at about 3:10 p.m., officers were notified that a student on a school bus had shown other students a gun.
The call to police came from a family member who had been notified from a student who was on the bus at the time.
East Middle School’s School Resource Officer (SRO) responded and located the bus near 17th Street and 9th Avenue South. The SRO found the student on the bus and learned that he actually had an Airsoft gun.
Airsoft guns are designed to look very similar to real firearms, and use non-metallic spherical projectiles often referred to as "BBs", which are often made of plastic or biodegradable resin materials.
The GFPD said in a news release that possession of an Airsoft gun, although not illegal, is a violation of the Great Falls Public Schools’ policy.
According to GFPS Superintendent Tom Moore, the school district will continue investigating the incident, which could result in action by the school administration.
Additionally, through the SRO’s investigation, it was determined probable cause existed to charge the 13-year old student with disorderly conduct.
The GFPD said that based on state law, an arrest would not be appropriate in this circumstance. The student, whose name has not been released. was cited and released to his mother.
The news release concluded: "The Great Falls Police Department and the Great Falls Public Schools continue to take threats to our schools and our students seriously. In this case, the SRO was able to respond immediately and confirm the report, which is not always the case. The student who immediately reported this behavior to a family member should be commended. Again, parents and guardians please talk to your students about communicating any threatening behavior to a responsible adult."
This incident comes just one day after another teen was charged for reportedly threatening students at North Middle School; click here for details.