.

UPDATE: Student Illegally Attending HMS Brings Pellet Gun, Steak Knife to Class

Seventh-grader appears to have been attending the school illegally because he lives in New Haven; district will now conduct audit of recently transfered students to make sure they're legally eligible to attend school here.

 

Hamden Middle School student, arrested Wednesday after school officials found a pellet gun and a steak knife in his backpack, was apparently attending the school illegally.

And because of that, the district will now audit all students who have entered the middle school and Hamden High School in the last year to assure they're here legally, Board of Education chairman Michael D'Agostino said.

At about 9 a.m. Wednesday, a teacher informed Hamden Police School Resource Officer Angela Hall that a student had brought a pellet gun to school, according to police spokesman Capt. Ronald Smith.

The teacher had gone into the student's backpack at his request to find a paper, Board of Education chairman Michael D'Agostino said, which is when she saw the pellet gun.

When Hall investigated the complaint, she found the pellet gun in the student's backpack, Smith said, along with an ammunition disc and a steak knife.

The student, a 12-year-old New Haven resident who was not identified because of his age, was charged with two counts of possession of a weapon on school grounds and two counts of carrying a dangerous weapon. He was released to the custody of his mother and is due to appear in Juvenile Court in New Haven on Feb. 29, Smith said.

He also was suspended from school, D'Agostino said, and a residency hearing will be held that will likely lead to his expulsion.

"We have a procedure in place whereby a parent has to present a number of documents to prove residency, and the mother did that for this student," D'Agostino said. "All the documents showed this was a Hamden student; however, because of this incident we went to the parent contacts and called his father, and it comes out that the student is living with the father in New Haven and is not appropriately in the Hamden school system so we will move to expel him on that basis."

The district has a policy that the school district a student attends should be in the city or town where the student sleeps at night, D'Agostino said, despite where the parents reside.

"The rule of thumb is where the head hits pillow at night is where they go to school," he said, "and this kid's head hits it in New Haven."

The district has a residency investigator on staff who looks into cases of students suspected of attending Hamden schools illegally. But it's impossible for one person to do all the work it takes, D'Agostino said.

"The documents we have could be very well from a parent living in Hamden so the documents may line up," he said. "The only way to find out if the parent is lying is to send out an investigator to follow the child, an we only have one person on staff who does that.

"It was only by virtue of this student's arrest that we were able to confirm he was attending illegally," D'Agostino said.

This sort of situation is fairly common, he said. 

"They come to Hamden because it is a better school system," he said, "and often when they are from broken homes like this, it is very difficult to uncover the truth."

The district will now embark in an audit of all students that have entered Hamden middle and high schools, D'Agostino said, the levels that see the most students transfer from other districts.

"We will do an audit the best we can," he said, "but unless we hire more investigators, there are going to be some that fall through the cracks."

Don Charles February 16, 2012 at 08:43 PM
Why is he attending a Hamden school? You have to ask.......
Jewel February 16, 2012 at 10:13 PM
Well this must be why the BOE wants and needs more money in their budget. It's to pay for all the sutdents that DON'T actually live in Hamden. Someone should check this out because there are HS kids as well who also DON'T live in town yet attend the schools.
Cindy February 17, 2012 at 02:08 AM
Project choice allows a small number of student to do so.
knowitall February 17, 2012 at 02:30 AM
It is not called project choice, it is called open choice. Basically, New Haven chooses to send their absolute worst students to other towns to ruin their classrooms. Lottery? yeah right. Other open choice heros have accounted for: bomb scares, beatings stabbings, and they are not helping our CMT scores. Great program for who??
Kyle pavone February 17, 2012 at 03:20 AM
Who brings weapons to school
Marty February 20, 2012 at 03:16 PM
Imani, please tell me you're not a product of the Hamden Public School system. If you are, God help us all.
LINDA February 23, 2012 at 03:17 PM
AS I HAVE STATED TO ALL WHO HAVE RUN FOR MAYOR THE LAST 2 RACES OUR TAX DOLLARS ARE GOING TO EDUCATE STUDENTS FROM NEW HAVEN WHO SHOULD NOT BE GOING HERE. ANY GIVEN MORNING WATCH THE NEW HAVEN CITY BUSES DROP OFF STUDENTS ON DIXWELL AVE. START CHECKING THEM AS THEY GET OFF THE BUSES AND SPOT CHECK WHO IS BEING DROPPED OF AT SCHOOL AND IN THE PLAZA WALKING IN. LET NEW HAVEN PAY FOR THEIR OWN STUDENTS.

Boards

More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something