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MAC locks down following weapon threat

BY Paige Conley - pconley@perutribune.com

A lockdown at Maconaquah School Corporation Monday afternoon led to the arrest of a Miami County boy for pending charges of carrying a weapon on school property.

According to a Miami County Sheriff’s Department release, at 1:32 p.m. officers from the MCSD and Indiana State Police were dispatched to Maconaquah High School in reference to a suspicious individual behind the building.

“The 14-year-old male, who was later identified as a resident of Miami County, was observed carrying what appeared to be a handgun in a holster which was visible on his person,” stated information from the release.

The first individual to confront the juvenile was school maintenance worker Mike Glassburn. According to Maconaquah Superintendent James Callane, Glassburn engaged the juvenile and had the young man put down his weapon.

“He spends hours here and he’s got love for Maconaquah and that showed up clearly yesterday,” Callane said.

The juvenile male reportedly complied and put down his weapon following Glassburn’s orders. According to the release, the juvenile male was surrounded by school officials when law enforcement officers arrived on scene.

The weapon in the juvenile’s possession was found to be a replica handgun designed to fire rubber pellets.

“The suspect was also found to be in possession of two knives,” said the release.

The juvenile, who was not a Maconaquah student, was reported to have been on school grounds in an attempt to make contact with a female student who is a former acquaintance of his.

The young man was taken into custody by Miami County Sheriff’s deputies and placed in a secure juvenile detention facility where he is facing a pending charge of carrying a weapon on school property.

The investigation into the incident is ongoing and being handled by the MCSD.

Following Maconaquah corporation safety procedures, all MAC school buildings went on lockdown and law enforcement was contacted immediately after the juvenile was found.

No students or staff were injured during the incident.

“Yesterday was a real life experience for us,” Callane said. “Our folks responded quickly and followed our safety protocol.

Throughout the situation, school personnel monitored the juvenile and made sure the suspect made no attempts to enter the building.

“It’s just a great reminder that we’ve got to be vigilant in what we are doing,” Callane said.

Even though Maconaquah staff has practiced and prepared for situations such as Monday’s incident, predicting every scenario is an impossibility.

According to Callane, the students were in a passing period when the lockdown occurred, and teachers and students had to decide if students should make their way to their next class as quickly as possible or just find the nearest room to them.

“It’s those types of issues that come up and you can anticipate anything that you want to, but you cannot prepare for every different scenario,” Callane said.

After the incident, the administrative team and staff debriefed about the incident and found things to take away on what they did right and what needs to be changed.

“It’s important for our community to know that we’re here and we’re here to do what we have to do to protect our kids,” Callane said.