ANDERSON, Ind. (Sept. 1, 2015)-- Administrators at Anderson Elementary School are still investigating a troubling incident involving an airsoft gun. At least three children were hit by airsoft pellets after a group of students fired the weapon on the playground on Monday afternoon.
The district initially believed the weapon was a BB gun, but later Tuesday a spokesperson clarified that it was an airsoft gun, which shoots plastic pellets.
"It's very serious," said Amanda McCammon, with Anderson Community Schools.
Luckily, none of the students were seriously injured, with no skin broken.
Administrators now believe a fifth grade student brought the airsoft gun to school in the waistband of his pants Monday, showed it to a few other students, and then took it out to recess. The district believes three students fired the weapon and three students were hit.
A student who got hit notified a teacher, McCammon said.
"The student that had the airsoft pistol was apprehended right away, and the device was taken away from that student immediately," she said.
Administrators spent Tuesday questioning students to learn how many were involved and if any students knew the airsoft gun was at school but failed to notify a teacher or other staff member.
McCammon said students need to know they can disclose any information about safety to any staff member, not just teachers.
"We're trying to find out all the details, not only of how it ended up on our campus, but who handled the weapon, who shot the weapon, and then obviously we know who was struck by the weapon. But we're trying to find out other students who may have known the student was in possession of a weapon and did not report," she said.
Under ACS policy, an airsoft gun is considered a weapon, McCammon said.
The district is also reminding parents and guardians to talk to children about why it is not acceptable to bring weapons to school.
Anderson Community Schools can expel those involved for up to a year or implement other forms of punishment like suspension or alternative placement.
"We will handle this with consequences as soon as we complete our investigation," McCammon said, "Any student that handles something that's considered a weapon and does not report it has some responsibility in what's occurred."
The students involved have been suspended pending the outcome of the investigation.
McCammon said staff will know more in the coming days.