Hanover 5th Grader arrested for bringing weapon to school - NBC12.com - Richmond, VA News

Hanover 5th Grader arrested for bringing weapon to school

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HENRICO, VA (WWBT) -

A Hanover 5th grader is facing criminal charges. He is accused of bringing a weapon on school property.

It happened at Mechanicsville Elementary School. There was a similar incident at Highland Springs High School in Henrico this week, but that student may not face charges because of a legal technicality.

David Hancock, store manager at Bob Sports Shop, was shocked to hear the 5th grader was arrested for bringing two pocket knives to school.

"Come on," said Hancock. "You are going to give him a criminal record for something that simple?"

Mr. Hancock showed us the knives that are popular amongst boy scouts. He says they often like to show off their pocket knife. That is exactly what police say the 5th grader was doing.

"Kids are going to do that," said Hancock. "What happened to being kids?"

A student at Highland Springs High School in Henrico was also accused of bringing a BB gun to school this week. Law enforcement officials say it is not likely the teen will be charged with bringing a weapon to school because BB guns are not considered firearms.

Firearms are "designed or intended to expel a projectile by action of an explosion of a combustible material" cannot be possessed on school property. A BB gun that does not rely on an explosion of a combustible material is not prohibited by state law.

"You have to separate the legal issue from the intent of a student," said NBC 12 education specialist Bill Bosher. "Why did he bring a BB gun to school?"

It is that question that should determine the fate of the teenager, be that suspension or even expulsion, says Dr. Bosher.

"It's not actually the instrument," said Dr. Bosher. "It's your intent. It's what you do with it. That is critical to the decision."

Police say the teenager had the BB gun in his book bag, and like the Hanover 5th grader, they say he never threatened anyone.

"But today," said Dr. Bosher. "School safety has got to be first."

Blades longer than three inches are not allowed on school property.

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