Student suspended for alleged weapon possession


(Posted Aug. 24, 2015)

By Sandi Latimer, Staff Writer

A Madison-Plains High School band member has been suspended indefinitely from school because he allegedly had a weapon in his possession at a summer band camp.

“The student is not on campus,” Superintendent Tim Dettwiller said at the Aug. 18 school board meeting. “The case is being handled by the Jackson County Sheriff’s Department.”

The student, whose name was not released, was attending band camp in late July at Camp Bountiful in Jackson County. Dettwiller said one of the other people at the camp allegedly saw the weapon in the student’s duffel bag and notified the band director.

The band director made sure the students were safe, then notified Dettwiller. The Jackson County Sheriff’s Office was also called. Band parents were notified but when comments about the incident starting appearing on Facebook, the superintendent put out a “one call” to notify all parents in the district about the situation.

Dettwiller said he followed the district’s weapons policy as he dealt with the student. Punishment ranges between a 10-day suspension and expulsion for a year.

“He will be out until further notice,” he said.

During the school board meeting, Brian Holbert, a band parent, said he wished the communication from the school could have been sooner. After the meeting, he and his wife, Megan, said, “The staff did a great job handling the case.”

Building opening times 

Parent Alice Baker complained about the amount of time students wait between the time they are dropped off at school and the time they are allowed in the buildings. Dettwiller said he has received numerous similar complaints and is looking into it.

The school day begins at 7:45 a.m. Elementary and intermediate school students cannot enter their buildings until 7:35 a.m., while junior high and high school students can enter at 7:30 a.m.

Enrollment is up

District officials are looking at high enrollment figures for this year. “Since the middle of July, we enrolled 85 new students,” Detwiller said. “That’s the most in eight years.”


Donations for a new flagpole on campus are adding up. Dettwiller said the total stands at $5,600. Dettwiller had hoped to have the flagpole and flag flying by the end of September.

He said that the school board may go along with a 60-40 funding plan “since we are so close.” That means when $6,000 in donations is reached, the district will chip in the remaining money needed for the project.

“Since we are so close, I’d say go for it,” said board member Ken Morlock.

Walmart logistics program 

The next school board meeting is Sept. 15 at which time Dettwiller hopes to have more information from Walmart Logistics and its donation program. He said the program has chosen Madison-Plains as the school district to receive a donation this year.

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