A 15-year-old West Jordan Middle School student has been suspended for six months for bringing a gun to school.
On Tuesday, a student brought a .45-caliber handgun to the school, 7550 S. 1700 West, and put it under the skirt of one of the portable classrooms, said West Jordan police Sgt. Greg Butler.
Another student who happened to be looking out the window of a classroom, however, saw the suspicious activity. After class, that student went to where the 15-year-old had been and found the gun, Butler said. The student immediately reported the incident to school administrators, who contacted the school resource officer.
The officer found the gun, took possession of it and then set off to identify the student who had put it there, Butler said. After finding the ninth-grader believed to be responsible, the student was interviewed and admitted he had brought the gun to school, he said.
"He said it was to protect himself from other kids. He was afraid they were going to jump him," Butler said.
The gun was not loaded. But the boy claimed there were a group of kids who were going to try and "jump him" that day, and he wanted to scare them off, Butler said.
The boy, however, was not very cooperative with detectives about exactly who these other bullies were and was not willing to say much about how he got the gun.
"He said he got it from a friend but would identify him by first name only," Butler said.
Police were able to verify the gun did not come from the boy's house, he said. The student recently had transferred to West Jordan Middle after being "removed" from another school, Butler said. Butler did not have details Thursday of why the student was forced to leave his other school.
The boy had not reported any prior problems at West Jordan Middle to teachers, administrators or parents, Butler said.
The boy was questioned and released to the custody of his parents. The case will now be screened by the Salt Lake District Attorney's Office.
Butler said the hero in this case was the student who reported the suspicious activity.
"We're very pleased with the other students who came forward," he said.If someone feels they're being bullied, Butler said the better course of action would be to talk to school administrators, officers or parents.