Honor Student Faces Expulsion Over Hunting Rifle

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A Columbia Falls Montana high school student faces expulsion after accidentally leaving a locked, unloaded hunting rifle in the trunk of her vehicle in the school parking lot. KPAX.com has a short video and story up about Demarie DeReu.

She went hunting over the Thanksgiving holiday with family and forgot to remove the rifle. It was locked in a case in the trunk of her car. Upon hearing that a "contraband dog" was to be working the school parking lot, DeRue remembered her unloaded hunting rifle secured in the trunk of her car and she informed school officials.


hawkeye270's picture

I think Chuck in Alaska's

I think Chuck in Alaska's comment about a the school district having a zero tolerance policy on common sense pretty much sums up the issue. Paranoia has just about taken over this country, especially the school system. Yes, horrible events have taken place in the past but that does not mean that the school district is not smart enough to look at these things case by case. First of all, she is an honor student, takes part in school activities (cheer leader) and does had a legitamite reason for having the rifle in her car. It was locked up in a case and unloaded. When she remembered that it was in the car... she fessed up and let the right people know. SHE DID EVERYTHING RIGHT! And now she is facing expulsion? That is crazy. It seems like a pretty clear cut case of an honest mistake. I can see the mistake warranting some kind of punishment in this day in age to serve as a statement to everyone that guns aren't allowed on high school campuses but come on... expulsion? That is just a little over board.

jim boyd's picture

This is just a great (bad)

This is just a great (bad) example of well intentioned rules having no leeway for interpretation.

Surely there have been some tragedies in schools, but I do not feel that a loss of common sense - or an overabudance of outright paranoia - should create a situation like this.

It sounds like she tried to do the right thing, for sure.

With this happening in Montana, where big game animals may even exceed the population (and in fact, they may) yoyu would think that cooler heads might have prevailed.

Another poster mentioned a kid that may hunt before or after school - this pretty much precludes that activity, now doesn't it?

I guess the fact that the gun was locked and in the trunk of the car had little bearing on this issue, either???

What next, we wonder - thank goodness I am older and my kid is grown... although sure as the world grandkids will come along and we will have to worry about all of this all over again.


gatorfan's picture

Too bad she didn't just go jump in her car and leave!

I’m pretty sure the penalty for skipping class wouldn’t have been as bad as it is for having a weapon in her car!

I remember one time when I was in the Navy and had just moved to my new apartment.  I had moved everything with my truck and had placed a shotgun and .22 behind the bench seat of my truck and when I got to my new apartment and was unloading my things, there were some nosey people hanging around that I didn't want to see me taking long guns out of my truck.  I decided to wait when there were not so many eyes around and simply forgot to take them out that night.

Forgetting that they were still in my truck, I went to work the next day.  After work, when I opened the door to my truck, I immediately got this sinking feeling in my stomach because I realized that I was on a military base with personal firearms in my truck (big no-no).  I nervously drove towards the front gate and low and behold, they were conducting random vehicle searches at the gate!  I started putting my story together in my head and running through my options for a new career as I approached the gate with anticipation of being "selected" for a search.  When the sentry stepped in front of my truck and put his hand up for me to stop, I almost passed out!  I thought he was telling me I was the next lucky contestant.  Luckily, he was just letting the inspection team leave in front of me!!!  I was soooo relieved when I finally made it out of the gate and off of federal property!

All of this to say, I can understand how she could have made this mistake, but we all (gun owners) know the consequences and rules for storing our guns.  I was just VERY lucky!


Ca_Vermonster's picture

This is just idiotic.  I am

This is just idiotic.  I am sorry, but they need to have some sort of prcess where they can have some sort of disciplinary review and discretion for each individual case.  This all inclusive policy is a joke.

Gone are the days when kids could actually bring their rifles to school in their vehicles, cause they'd stop by their deer stand on the way home for an evening hunt.  Unreal.

GooseHunter Jr's picture

Sounds like she just made an

Sounds like she just made an honest mistake.  But if the school is going to have a "no tolerence" policy they really have to stick to it or the next thing you know they will all try and push their luck to see what they can get way with.  She seems like a real good student and has a good head on her shoulders, but she did break a rule.  Really feel bad for her, maybe they can all work something out but it does een the school is going to stick to their "guns".

Chuck-n-Alaska's picture

Sounds like this school has a

Sounds like this school has a zero tolerance on common sense as well as guns. And an over load of paranoia, "a contraband dog"?

Horrible Time for Memory Laspe

This is an unforunate for the student.  All I know must schools have a zero tollerance for incidents like this. At least she was honest and came forward. Guess we will wait and see how it plays out.