Grissom parent banned from school properties over airsoft gun incident

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. - A Grissom High School parent was removed from the property Wednesday after she entered the school with an airsoft gun in a holster on her hip.

School staff and security informed campus police who responded immediately. Officers determined that the gun was an airsoft gun, although it looked authentic, and immediately escorted her off the property.

Grissom's principal released a statement saying "the individual who brought the airsoft gun on campus today has been informed that she is no longer allowed on campus or any other HCS property."

Here is the statement in full:

Grissom Parents,

Today at dismissal time, a parent entered the school with an AirSoft gun in a holster on her hip. Our school staff and campus security informed our campus police officers who responded immediately. The police officers determined that the item was, in fact, an AirSoft gun – and not a firearm – but, nevertheless, escorted her off the property. The individual who brought the AirSoft gun on campus today has been informed that she is no longer allowed on campus or any other HCS property.

The safety and well-being of our students and staff is a priority at Grissom High School. Board policy prohibits firearms, toy guns, Air Soft guns, or any similar item from being brought into a school building, on school grounds, on HCS property, on school buses, or at school-sponsored functions except for authorized law enforcement personnel. Non-students who violate this policy may be banned from HCS property in addition to any action taken by law enforcement.

Our procedures require all visitors to sign in at the school’s front office and receive a visitor pass before entering any other part of the building. Even though many of you are individuals we already know, following this procedure is mandatory, and we appreciate everyone’s cooperation. Thank you for your help in ensuring that we have a safe school.

Jeanne Baird Greer
Grissom High School

Police say the parent's lack of judgement should have been stopped by common sense.

“Anybody that’s open carry of any kind, whether it’s a real gun or not, should understand that you don’t bring a fun if you’re not law enforcement with credentials onto school property," said Huntsville police spokesperson Lt. Michael Johnson. “In this day and age with school shootings, this is not something we’re going to tolerate.”

Police say if anyone had been frightened by this incident, the woman could have faced criminal charges.

“Things of that nature are as you might understand prohibited from being on a campus," said Huntsville City Schools spokesperson Keith Ward.

School administrators also say this is an excellent reminder of how important it is to say something if you see something.

“Anyone can potentially see something that may present itself as a threat," Ward said.

Security procedures regarding this incident all worked as planned.