Nederland High 9th grade student to be criminally charged after semi-automatic gun brought to campus

Published 2:59 pm Friday, February 24, 2023

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NEDERLAND — A ninth grade student at Nederland High School will be criminally charged, officials said, after he was allegedly found with a handgun on campus Friday morning.

Nederland Police Chief Gary Porter said a student doing the right thing notified an assistant principal that another student was showing off a handgun.

“We found him in possession of a 40 caliber semi-automatic gun,” Porter said. “As far as I know he didn’t threaten anyone. He will be charged criminally.”

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Porter described the situation as a student possible bringing a handgun to school and showing it off to people.

“Why people would ever do that, it is stupid,” he said. “It could turn into a tragedy when you bring a gun to school at any given time, whether on purpose or not. The kid who told the assistant principal should be commended for doing the right thing. It may have saved a tragedy from happening.”

Porter stressed Nederland investigators are still investigating the exact reason the gun was brought to school and have not ruled out any possibilities.

According to police, the response was immediate because a school resource officer and security are always on scene at Nederland High.

“The rest of us were then on scene and ready to react if anything was needed,” Porter said.

Dr. Stuart Kieschnick, superintendent of the Nederland Independent School District, said officials immediately got the suspect student into a location where he could be searched.

Authorities said a pistol was located inside his underwear.

“It was found safely,” Kieschnick said. “The kid was placed under arrest by Nederland Police, taken to the police station and will receive full disciplinary action under Chapter 37 of Nederland School Code.”

Authorities said the response began at mid-morning Friday and was completed by 1:30 p.m.

As per policy, school officials notified school staff first, then the school board and followed up with parents and the media.

“While the investigation is ongoing, there is security there,” Kieschnick said. “As far as the day goes, 99 percent of the students didn’t know what was going on. That changes as it hits social media and effects the rest of the day. We try to keep it as normal as possible.”

School officials do not anticipate lingering safety concerns and maintained the scheduled school dismissal and all extracurriculars Friday and this weekend.