BB gun incident puts district on alert

GOWANDA — A report of a possible student with a gun had authorities on alert Wednesday afternoon.

The Gowanda Police Department said on its Facebook page it investigated a report of a student with a gun on one of the Gowanda Elementary School bus runs. After an investigation — in conjunction with the Cattaraugus County Sheriff’s Office, New York State Police and Seneca Nation Marshals — it was found that the handgun was a non-operational BB gun and not a firearm.

The BB gun was secured. Gowanda police “extended their appreciation” to those that came forward and ultimately reported the incident.

See ALERT, Page A3

The case is currently pending further investigation by the state police with full cooperation from the district.

In addition, the department added this plea to parents and guardians. “We encourage you to have conversations with your children as this nationwide ‘trend’ has gone on far too long,” the post said. “Be aware. Talk to your children and be vigilant as parents, and of course remind your children that if they see something, say something.”

In a call sent out to the district on Wednesday evening, Gowanda Superintendent Dr. Robert Anderson offered his gratitude to law enforcement for their assistance in the matter. He added in the message that student safety is their number one priority, and preached the school’s message of vigilance and responsible social media use.

“The most important strategy for our mutual safety is to remain vigilant and mindful,” he said. “If you see or witness anything out of the ordinary, please contact the police and/or school administration as soon as possible. In addition, as an additional reminder please remind children to use social media responsibly and understand there can be serious and harmful consequences when not used properly and, of course, review items that are prohibited at school and their potential consequences.”


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