RAPID CITY, S.D. – Police in Rapid City say five male students at the Rapid CIty Alternative school were detained following an incident in a bathroom Wednesday.
During the morning school hours of November 1, a Rapid City Police Department School Resource Officer assigned to the Rapid City Alternative Academy responded to a bathroom within the school after seeing several students enter it. The officer was aware of recent suspicious drug-related activity inside the restroom.
After the initial contact with the group, five male students were detained while the officer investigated the suspected drug-use. At one point, one of the males attempted to get up and flee from the school. Despite the student’s physical attempts to flee, the officer was able to ensure the student stayed safely detained during the ongoing investigation.
ltimately, police received consent to search the student from the student’s legal guardian. During the search, police recovered a loaded handgun concealed in the student’s waistband. The gun was immediately confiscated, and later determined to be stolen from an earlier vehicle burglary. At no point did the investigation yield any evidence to indicate the student planned to use the gun at the school.
Three total students will face additional appropriate consequences through the juvenile justice system as a result of the investigation. The student in possession of the handgun has been suspended from school, and further disciplinary action, up to expulsion, may occur as a result of this incident.
“Rapid City Area Schools’ partnership with local law enforcement agencies to provide SRO coverage in our schools is a valued service. Today illustrates the importance of the collaboration and our focus on student and staff safety. RCAS has also added a school safety manager to keep all schools as safe as possible,” said Nicole Swigart, Superintendent of Rapid City Area Schools.
“We’re extremely thankful for our high-level working relationship with the Rapid City Area Schools,” says Rapid City Chief of Police Don Hedrick. “Thanks to this School Resource Officer’s proactive efforts and swift intervention to ensure student safety, we were able to resolve this incident and maintain a secure environment for learning within our community’s schools. Our SROs uphold that commitment through their everyday interactions with students and school staff throughout the school year.”