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Education

2 Shawnee Mission schools deal with incidents involving toy guns days after Olathe East shooting

Students walk in a school hallway.
Carlos Moreno
/
KCUR
Two Shawnee Mission schools — Shawnee Mission East and Rhein Benninghoven Elementary — dealt with separate toy gun incidents on Monday, March 7.

School officials are on alert for threats following a shooting at Olathe East High school on Friday that injured three.

Two Shawnee Mission schools dealt with incidents involving toy guns on Monday, according to messages sent to families.

The incidents came in the first school day after a shooting at Olathe East High School left a student, an administrator and a school resource officer injured with gunshot wounds.

The student, an 18-year-old, has since been charged with attempted capital murder.

Administrators at Shawnee Mission East High School and Rhein Benninghoven Elementary both issued messages to families on Monday regarding separate incidents involving toy guns.

At Shawnee Mission East, a video of a person wearing a ski mask and holding what turned out to be a “toy gun” circulated among a group of students Monday morning, according to a message to families sent from Principal Jason Peres.

Per district protocol, administrators conducted an investigation, identified and interviewed individuals involved.

Administrators wrote that they “are confident there is no threat to the East community.”

"I am writing to inform you of an incident that took place here at Shawnee Mission East this morning. We learned of a video circulating among a group of students, which contained an individual wearing a ski mask, holding what turned out to be a toy gun. As soon as we learned about the video, we followed district protocol and conducted an investigation. The individuals involved were identified and interviewed, and we are confident there is no threat to the East community. This matter will continue to be handled in accordance with applicable state and federal laws and district policies," Peres wrote.

At Rhein Benninghoven, an elementary student took a toy gun to school on Monday, according to a message to families from Principal Anna Jensen.

The toy gun was confiscated and the school plans to handle the incident “in accordance with applicable state and federal laws and district policies,” Jensen wrote.

Jensen noted that it’s important to reinforce “if you see something, say something” with students.

“I also want to take this moment to remind you to talk with your child(ren) about what is and is not appropriate to bring to school, and to check their backpacks regularly,” Jensen wrote.

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