Student detained after found on campus with weapon

A TPHS senior was detained by the San Diego Police Department on Nov. 16 for having a BB gun in his possession on campus.


The student, who is a minor, was in Catherine Mintz’s third-period Economics class, although the class had a substitute teacher that day, according to Sora Oyaizu (12).


Principal Rob Coppo said administrators and police  responded to the incident quickly and efficiently, making it unnecessary to place the school on lockdown.


“We identified the student quickly and knew where he was, and we were able to remove [the possibility of a lockdown] immediately,” Coppo said.


Coppo also wrote in an email to parents that “there was no specific threat to any students,” and nobody was hurt.


Administration was notified of suspicious activity at around 10 a.m. by two students from the class, according to Coppo. 


Oyaizu said that she and the majority of her classmates were unaware of the situation until members of administration entered the classroom to get the student.


“I saw six or so guys come into our class. I think two of them were assistant principals,” Oyaizu said.  “They asked for the [student] and he went out with them. I didn’t know about anything before they took him.”


After administration confirmed that the student was carrying a BB gun in his backpack, he was taken into custody by SDPD, and, according to NBC 7/39 News, taken to juvenile hall. 


Because of educational privacy laws, Coppo was unable to comment on the punishment that the student would receive, but did acknowledge that the student would likely be punished by both the law and the school.


“Any dangerous object on campus is a violation of both the [California Education Code] and penal code,” Coppo said. “Even if it’s an adult at a football game, you bring a dangerous object onto a high school campus for a school event, that’s a violation of both. So there are … school … and then legal consequences for that.”


According to Oyaizu, the class was briefed on the situation after the student’s removal, but did not receive much information.


“[An assistant principal] told us that they were investigating something for a while and that they had taken care of the situation and we were safe,” Oyaizu said.


Students found with dangerous objects on campus are “relatively rare,” according to Coppo.

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