Police called to William Harding School as BB gun found in pupils bag

The BB gun reportedly sparked fury from parents at the school after the police were called back in April.

By Thomas Bamford
Friday, 18th September 2020, 9:23 am
Police called to William Harding School as gun found in pupils bag
Police called to William Harding School as gun found in pupils bag

However, a concerned parent has shared with the Herald that this was not the first incident regarding a gun in school.

A pupil was allegedly caught with a BB gun in their schoolbag back in April.

The gun was found after the pupil allegedly bragged to friends and threatened to shoot them at lunchtime.

Fast forward five months later, the same pupil has allegedly been caught with a replica gun again and once again allegedly threatening to shoot pupils.

The second gun however, was not a BB gun according to the school, but was a a toy gun that makes a sound but does not fire any kind of projectile.

The toy was confiscated immediately from the child concerned.

The school said they would like to stress that 'At no stage was any child or member of staff at risk. The school was not in chaos, and the police were not involved.'

A concerned parent contacted The Bucks Herald saying they are scared for their child at the school.

The parent, who wishes to remain anonymous, said: "My child saw the teachers confiscate it from him in the morning and he informed me when I picked him up.

"I called the school office to see if they could confirm that it happened again and could assure me the child would not be at the school going forward.

"They informed me someone would contact me.

"In the meantime I spoke to a teacher outside the school who confirmed it had happened, that it was deemed not a “dangerous gun” and they were investigating it but could not confirm if the child would be there again.

"In the late afternoon a teacher called me and told me it was a private matter, the school would deal with it and they refused to give me any details.

"I called Thames Valley Police who investigated it before to note my concerns for the safety of pupils at the school.

"They confirmed that while it had been reported and investigated before, it had not been reported by the school this time and now have huge concerns for the safety of pupils and the schools processes as this is the second gun incident at a Junior school in less than six months.

"They have also questioned their firearms experience to determine a gun as not a “dangerous one”.

"The child who has done this for a second time, is still at the school and has not been removed putting other children massively at risk.

"This second incident had not been communicated to parents or the police by the school and would appear that they are trying to cover it up."

The parent sought reassurance from the school following the incident in April and was sent the following message:

"As you were aware yesterday from our phone call, there was an incident where a gun was found in a pupils bag.

"The police were immediately called and attended school to discover the gun was a 'BB' gun. The police are currently following external lines of enquiry.

"As a school I am pleased to say that staff acted professionally and followed all guidance to ensure all pupils were kept safe and supported.

"Our Family Liaison Officers have been in school to talk to all pupils involved and have worked with the pupils again today to deliver a PHSE session with the children.

"The police have also offered to come in and do some work with the pupils around this in the near future."

Trudy Cotchin, Head teacher, William Harding School said in response:

"Before school started yesterday, one of our teachers confiscated a toy gun from a year 6 pupil who had brought it into school to show a friend. The item was locked away until the end of the day, at which time it was given to the pupil's parent.

"The toy gun concerned was not capable of firing a projectile, so there was no risk to pupils or staff at any time, and the matter did not require any further action under the school's policy and procedures."