February 10, 2023  |  11:46 am

A junior high school student has been arrested after he brought an airsoft gun on a school bus Friday (February 10) morning.

The St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s Office was contacted after a citizen observed a student at a bus stop with what appeared to be a gun.  With the help of the St. Tammany Parish Public School System, deputies were able to identify and locate the bus involved.

Deputies met up with the bus near the intersection of Mire Drive and Louisiana Highway 59 near Mandeville and conducted a search. At which time, one of the students aboard the bus was found to be in possession of an airsoft gun and a small container of airsoft pellets.

The 14-year-old student told deputies he was bringing the airsoft gun to school to return it after he borrowed it from another student.

Since a school bus and a school bus stop are considered an extension of a school, the teen was issued a summons for L.R.S. 14:40.1BC Terrorizing or Menacing and was released to a parent on a custodial agreement to appear in court.

“The safety of our schools and your children is of the utmost importance to us,” Sheriff Randy Smith said. “We will continue to work with our school system to make sure a safe environment is provided for every child to learn and to travel to and from school.  While many consider an airsoft gun to be a toy, they are in fact weapons and can cause damage and injuries. They also oftentimes look very similar to and can be mistaken for more dangerous guns and will therefore be treated as such.”