COEUR D'ALENE, Idaho — A Coeur d'Alene teenager is facing a misdemeanor charge after he accidentally brought a hunting rifle to school on Oct. 25.
Coeur d’Alene School District Spokesperson Scott Maben said anything regarding weapons on school property is something they take very seriously. They have policies in place they need to follow as well as state law.
According to Maben, someone overheard talk of a student who drove to school and forgot their hunting rifle was still in their car. The tipster then used an online school system to submit the tip.
Coeur d'Alene high school's resource officer then met with the student and confirmed the rifle was in his car. While an accident, Coeur d’Alene Police Spokesperson Mario Rios said that's still technically a violation of Idaho law which prohibits weapons on school grounds.
The crime is a misdemeanor and it could potentially result in jail time or a fine. Rios said the law is clear here and no compromises can be made regarding student safety. He said stuff like this may have been OK decades ago, but not anymore.
"Things have changed since then. We obviously have to be vigilant. We have to make sure our students are protected," Rios said.
The student was not arrested and was instead issued a citation. It's important to note that further decisions regarding potential penalties will now be up to prosecutors and a judge. Additional action from the school could also be coming.
The school board will now hold a discipline hearing on this. During that, the student and his family will be able to make their case. Maben adds that while it was an accident, school policy is pretty clear on this. Like the law, school safety is always taken very seriously.
"It shouldn't come as a surprise to any students that there's really zero tolerance for weapons on campus," Maben said.
While incidents like these are rare, they've happened before in Coeur d'Alene. In May 2019, a similar situation happened at Lake City high school.