Teens Taken Into Custody After Bringing Fake Gun Into School

A fake gun was seen wielded by high school students inside the school's restroom, sending the district into lockdown.

By Erika Hanson | Published

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American schools are rife with issues concerning public health and academics, but above all, most parents seem concerned with safety. Violence is on the rise on school campuses. Because of this, gun threats are taken with extreme caution, which is exactly what led to the police detainment of three high school students in Oregon last week.

The Clackamas High School in Oregon serves about 2,500 students. On Friday, September 16th, the school was sent into lockdown following reports of a disturbing video surfacing on social media. No one was hurt, and authorities say that reports of a gun ended up being false, but it led to the detainment of three high school students.

The lockdown stems from a video on Snapchat taken inside one of the school’s restrooms that morning. Three students involved were seen holding what looked like a gun. Others reported the video to school officials, who promptly sent the school into lockdown.

Parents were notified of the lockdown and threat within minutes. Police were also on the scene promptly, and the three high school students were taken into custody. Luckily, what appeared to be a gun in the Snapchat footage was a gun replica, not the real thing.

Authorities called the fake gun a carbon dioxide-powered replica pistol. While unable to fire rounds, they often look identical to real firearms. The intent of the video footage remains unknown, as does the identity of the minor high school students who were seen holding the gun in the video.

After the lockdown was lifted, shaken students were allowed to be dismissed with their families. Emotions were tense afterward, but parents overall expressed gratitude that their children came home safely. Faith Eionne, a mother of a high school student said that when she got the message alerting her of the lockdown she felt it was the “worst-case scenario.”

However, Eionne said that she was able to stay in contact with her kids, who updated her about their safety via their cell phones. Many schools across the nation are banning cell phone use for high school students as they pose a distraction to learning. However, parents are pushing back against these policies, pointing to cases like this as much-needed communication during threats.

When Eionne was asked by KATU News if she felt the school was prepared enough for threats of this kind, she responded that she was unsure. “Unfortunately these guys have been preparing since they were little kids for something like a lockdown,” she added. Other high school students’ families reacted similarly.

Rachel Croon said she “felt sick” after she learned high school students were in lockdown from another parent. For her, the main concern going into school each and every day is making sure her children come home safely. This mom wants to see more security in the school, even if it means parents volunteering their time to patrol the campus.

high school students

The high school students who reported the online video were commended, as was the quick reaction and response by both the school and authorities. While the three teens involved were taken into custody, it is unknown whether or not they face any criminal charges. Overall, parents and students are relieved that no one was harmed, but the situation sheds light on a growing issue plaguing schools.