A nine-year-old student at Mark Twain Elementary apparently set off a firestorm on social media last week after bringing a toy gun to school.
The issue prompted an investigation that included the Corcoran Police Department and that could involve disciplinary action against the student.
Law enforcement officials became involved after receiving a call from the school district at about 9:30 p.m. Tuesday evening, Aug. 18. Mark Twain Principal Mike Anderson told officers the fourth grade student had possibly brought a gun to school. Anderson found out about the incident from parents of another student, who said their son had been shown the gun.
Corcoran officers attempted to contact the student and his family. However, the family’s address on record with the school was apparently inaccurate and turned out to be a vacant home. Investigating further, officers located another possible address for the family, but once again, officers found a vacant residence when they arrived at the address.
They finally made contact with the student the following morning at school. Officers also spoke to several witnesses to Tuesday’s incident.
It was found the student had brought a toy gun to school both days. The toy was found and seized by police where it had been tossed into a garbage can in a bathroom at the school.
In a message sent home to families by the district Wednesday morning, Superintendent Rich Merlo noted the plastic toy gun had not been used to threaten or intimidate any other Mark Twain student. He went on to remind parents that students should leave all toys at home.
“We take student safety very seriously and we thank you for your support in helping make Mark Twain a great place to educate your student,” Merlo said.
The gun was described by law enforcement as about three inches long, old-looking and copper colored on the barrel, with a black plastic handle. It was a revolver style toy gun that could have been mistaken for a real gun by someone not familiar with firearms, according to at least one officer. The small revolver was reportedly a cap gun.
The district has not said what form of discipline, if any, will be applied in the incident. District administrative regulations and board policy do not specifically refer to actions taken against students who bring toy guns to school.