Probe into gun being at school continues

There was a story about a school employee who had a gun on top of his or her car at a Central Point school. This caused the school to be on "lock down" and students to remain on the floor in a darkened room for more than an hour while police came.

Did the owner of this gun break any existing laws? Will the owner have their name published in the paper, be fined, lose the right to own a gun or will this be considered just a "mistake" and not really a big deal. It seems this kind of reckless and thoughtless behavior should be punished.

— Betsy S. via email

Indeed, Betsy, a handgun discovered on a school employee's vehicle at Jewett Elementary School on April 15 prompted the lockdown of some 540 students and an emergency response from local police.

But the case remains under investigation, and it remains unclear whether there will be charges filed, said Central Point police Chief Kris Allison.

Allison declined to name the school employee, but said the person under investigation was not a teacher. The employee told police he or she unknowingly drove to school with the unloaded gun, which was placed there by someone else, Allison said.

The car was parked near the school entrance Monday morning. The gun was discovered tucked between the windshield and the hood.

The resulting lockdown lasted from about 9:35 a.m. to almost 11 a.m. Students remained in their classrooms with teachers.

Allison said if her department determines the investigation warrants charges, the case will be referred to the Jackson County District Attorney's Office.

Allison said there is no law against bringing a gun to a school, provided there is no criminal intent or reckless behavior involved.

Employees violating weapons policy could face termination, students could be expelled or visitors asked to leave. But it would not necessarily be a criminal violation to disregard the policy, she said.

"It all depends on intent," Allison said.

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