South Grand Prairie High students disciplined after toy gun prank

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by JIM DOUGLAS

Bio | Email | Follow: @wfaajdouglas

WFAA

Posted on April 5, 2013 at 6:16 PM

Updated Friday, Apr 5 at 6:16 PM

GRAND PRAIRIE -- In the wake of Sandy Hook and Columbine, it's hard to imagine why a South Grand Prairie High student would walk into a classroom wearing a gas mask and carrying a toy assault rifle.

But police and district officials say that's what happened Wednesday.

"I think it's dangerous," said student Arizona Lucero. "People that are really freaked out could attack them or anything."

Lucero said she would have been frightened if she had been in the class. Two parents e-mailed News 8, saying their children in the class were traumatized. 

District officials say they haven't received those reports, and that students didn't panic when two seniors walked into a theatre arts class late Wednesday. They say one had an orange-tipped toy rifle and mask, the other had a cellphone to record the reaction.

It wasn't what they hoped.

"Coming so close on the heels of Newtown, these are incidents we take very, very seriously," said district spokesman Sam Buchmeyer.

Officials say the teacher was momentarily taken aback, but recognized the students and took them to the office without trouble. Both were put into alternative school. In addition, Buchmeyer says it's possible the students might not be allowed to walk the stage with their classmates at graduation.

And they could face bigger problems.

"The kids have the potential of criminal charges filed against them," said Grand Prairie detective Lyle Gensler.

Grand Prairie police have sent the case to the district attorney to see what charges, if any, might apply.

"I'm sure these kids are thinking right now, 'Boy, that was a pretty stupid thing to do,' which it was," Gensler said. "But I don't think their intent was to threaten or harm, or do something other than play a stupid joke. But in today's society, you just can't do that."

E-mail jdouglas@wfaa.com

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