GUTHRIE, Okla. (KFOR) – A Guthrie Junior High School student’s attempted show-and-tell ended with Guthrie Police and Oklahoma Highway Patrol’s bomb squad arriving on scene to obtain and test a Vietnam era practice grenade rifle.
“The school resource officer didn’t wake up this morning thinking he was going to find this in a backpack,” said Sgt. Anthony Gibbs with the Guthrie Police Department.
Thursday afternoon, Guthrie Public Schools said a Guthrie Junior High teacher got a tip from a student, who said another child was carrying a military practice rifle grenade in his bag.
“That’s pretty scary,” said junior high parent Michelle Grimm. “Practice grenade? Like, how did they even get that into school?”
“I got the email from [superintendent] Dr. Simpson and it said some kid brought a rifle grenade to school in his backpack and they found it,” said parent Kelsey Williams.
Gibbs told KFOR the student’s family was given the retro device. He said the student wanted to show off the piece of history at school, not meaning to harm or scare anyone.
“The student had stated he wanted to show this to some friends and a history teacher to ask him more questions about this particular device,” the sergeant said. “I think they know now, that’s obviously not something good to do.”
After getting the tip, the district said it called in the school’s resource officer to take the launchable grenade from the student.
“It appeared to be what’s called an ‘inert training device’ in the military,” said Sgt. Gibbs. “Because of the inert nature however, we still treated it as if it was a live device.”
The Oklahoma Highway Patrol’s bomb squad was called to the school, just to make sure it wasn’t still active.
“We’re told it appears it is inert, that it is non-functional. They were going to do a couple more tests to make sure,” he said.
In a statement to News 4, Guthrie Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Mike Simpson said, “We take school safety seriously at Guthrie Public Schools. It is the responsibility of everyone to assist us in keeping our students safe. We are very thankful for the student who reported what they saw as well as the swift action of our teacher, administrators and resource officer.”
Gibbs said when it comes to historic military devices like this, it’s always best to play it safe, even if you believe it’s not active.
“Don’t touch firearms. Don’t touch things that may look kind of near but may hurt you,” he said. “Call us. Let us check that it is not an actual device so that no one is hurt.”
Police said having a weapon on school property is a misdemeanor, but intent and the fear it caused are taken into account. Officers said they’re forwarding the offenses to the juvenile services to figure out what to do next.
Police said the family does not want the device back.