A Terre Haute middle school had a short-term scare Thursday morning after someone reported that a student had brought a gun to school — which ended up being an airsoft gun that uses plastic pellets.
The incident took place at 8:55 a.m. at Woodrow Wilson Middle School, which was on lockout/hold in place for about 25 minutes.
The Woodrow Wilson student was later arrested and faces a charge of disorderly conduct for allegedly taking the airsoft gun to school and placing it in his locker.
No threats were made by the student, Terre Haute Police said in a post on their Facebook page announcing the arrest. The student's name will not be released due to his juvenile status.
The gun had the appearance of a real Smith and Wesson M&P firearm, police said.
School Protection Officers, Terre Haute Police Detective Todd Kennedy and school staff located the student and the airsoft gun soon after it was reported.
Police commended those who reported the incident.
The Facebook post also encourages parents to speak to their children about reporting incidents, and about the consequences of playing with fake guns.
Bill Riley, the district's director of communications, could not comment on any school-related consequences the student may face.
After the 25-minute lockout, school resumed to normal business, although there was heightened security at the school, Riley said.
"Before we contacted media, we sent a text through School Messenger to parents and guardians letting them know what happened and the lockout /hold in place was lifted," Riley said.
Parents/guardians who did not receive the notification need to contact their school "to make sure their contact information is updated in our system. We will do another opt in campaign for that program," Riley said.
The school was placed in "lockout/hold in place, not a lockdown," he said. A lockout means students outside, such as for physical education, were brought into the classroom and the door is shut and locked.
"We took attendance and class resumed as normal in those classrooms," Riley said. A lockout also means any visitors to school are turned away; there are no deliveries, and parents are not allowed to drop off items for students.
According to the school district's Student-Parent guide, "possessing, using or transmitting any object that in fact or under the circumstances can reasonably be considered to constitute a weapon" is considered a zero-tolerance violation, which involves a recommendation for expulsion.