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West Valley Student Expelled Over Gun Freshman Had Brought Handgun To School; Incident A First At Wv

A West Valley High School student was expelled Wednesday for having a handgun on campus.

A 16-year-old freshman reportedly brought a .22-caliber handgun to school Tuesday morning, said sheriff’s Lt. David Wiyrick.

The student told authorities he brought the weapon to school to show it to a teenager who was interested in buying it. That Valley youth is not a student.

School officials said the incident was the first time a student was caught bringing a firearm to West Valley High School.

The school’s administrators have not decided whether to press criminal charges against the student, Wiyrick said.

Tuesday afternoon, another student told an administrative intern about the gun.

That afternoon, the principal confronted the 16-year-old, who admitted he had brought the weapon to school.

The student gave the gun to a potential buyer in the school’s parking lot, deputies said. That person allegedly returned it after school Tuesday.

Authorities don’t think the gun was loaded when it was on campus.

Deputies later recovered the handgun from the student’s sister. It is not listed as a stolen weapon, Wiyrick said.

“I’m very confident there was no violent sort of connection,” said Cleve Penberthy, West Valley High School principal.

After meeting with the student’s parents Wednesday morning, school officials expelled him indefinitely.

The freshman recently had traded his portable CD player for the weapon, Penberthy said.

“He got nervous about having the gun,” Penberthy said, “and found someone who might be interested in having the gun.

“The motive had nothing to do with hurting anybody. It had nothing to do with gang relations.”

The principal said he was encouraged that other students want to keep weapons out of school.

“The kids were willing to step forward and transcend the code of silence that says you’re squealing or ‘narcing,”’ Penberthy said.