Updates to safety protocols in the works after incident on bus


(Posted Sept. 20, 2023)

By Kristy Zurbrick, Madison Editor

Madison-Plains leaders plan to update the school district’s safety protocols and procedures following an incident in which a student found a magazine for a weapon under a school bus seat.

“We have had several meetings among our administrative team and with law enforcement to discuss the situation that occurred and what the learning opportunities are there,” said school district Superintendent Chad Eisler at the Sept. 12 school board meeting.

“We are reaching out to experts and leaders in the field to find out what they would recommend. We are looking into what best practices are, and we will be updating our protocols and procedures and providing training to our staff on these updated protocols and procedures.”

The incident occurred on the afternoon of Aug. 31 on a school bus transporting students in grades K-12 home from school. According to information Eisler posted to the district’s Facebook page the day of the incident, a student found the magazine for a weapon under one of the bus seats and gave it to the bus driver. The driver pulled over to report the matter to school authorities. The district school resource officer went to the scene to assist and start an investigation. No weapon was found on the bus. The students and their belongings were not inspected at that time. Students who were on the bus were picked up by their parents or guardians at the location where the bus pulled over.

On the morning of Sept. 1, students who were transported to school on the same bus were asked to exit the bus in a school parking and place their backpacks and bookbags in a row in the parking lot. A law enforcement K-9 officer then examined the bus and the backpacks and bookbags. No weapons or ammunition were found.

The K-9 officer also inspected hallway lockers and physical education lockers in the grades 7-12 building. The Madison-Plains administrative team visually inspected the hallway lockers at the grades K-6 building. Nothing was found in either inspection.

As of Sept. 18, Eisler said no new information had been uncovered about the incident. It is not known how the magazine ended up on the bus or to whom it belonged.

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