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Tuesday, February 8, 2000



Mid-Pacific Institute
student fires pellet gun
at classmates

Star-Bulletin staff

Tapa

A ninth-grade student at Mid-Pacific Institute fired shots at other students with a pellet gun last week, leading to his expulsion, said school president, Joe Rice.

The teen-ager was angry with the three other ninth-grade boys and brought the gun to school Thursday, he said. During the latter part of the school day, he fired at the three, hitting one in the arm and one in the leg.

The shots left red welts and the students returned to class after being examined by the school nurse, Rice said.

School officials reported the shooting to police and called in all four boys and their parents, Rice said.

A fourth boy also said he was shot at two weeks earlier, but school officials have not been able to verify that report.

The boy with the gun was expelled, and letters describing the incidents were sent to the boys' parents. School officials recommended counseling for the offending student.

According to the letter, the boy said he was upset for various reasons.

"We have a zero tolerance for something like this, even if the student didn't mean harm. Given what has happened at other schools on the mainland, we do not allow for any violence in our school," Rice said.

The letter to parents said: "We are very fortunate that the situation was not more serious. This also presents an opportunity for all of us to remind our children to be sensitive to others, and should they realize that someone is stressed or angry, get them the help they need by reporting any unusual behavior to a school counselor."



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