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‘Shooters’ with BBs land students in trouble

What may have started as a childish prank resulted in the suspension of a number of Meadville Elementary School students Thursday and prompted Halifax County school administrators to stress the system’s zero tolerance for weapons of any kind on school property.

According to Meadville Elementary School Principal Marliss Barczak, the students were suspended after a “safety issue” was brought to the attention of school officials.

Those suspended students were accused of using “plastic straws, taking pens and colored pencils apart” and using them as a weapon.

Inner parts of the pencils had been removed and replaced with plastic bbs used in an air gun, Barczak said.

They manufactured double and triple barrels, she added.

The students apparently were using the bbs as “ammunition” to shoot at other students on the bus and at recess, and several students reportedly had been hit by the plastic bbs, the principal said Friday.

“I worked all day yesterday to get to the bottom of it and to prevent it from happening again,” added Barczak.

Any student in possession of the “shooters” were suspended, the principal said.

“The students were calling the pellets spit balls, but all I ever saw were the plastic bbs,” said Barczak.

The principal said incidents occurring on two different buses were brought to her attention Thursday morning.

“I believe it began with a couple of boys and something they saw on the Internet,” said Barzcak.

The principal said she had contacted parents of all students involved in the incidents, and letters were sent home to those involved.

“Several people are upset with me, but most of the parents were understanding and cooperative,” said Barczak.

“Our number one priority is the health and safety of the students,” she added.

Guidance counselors were on hand Thursday to talk with students about taking responsibility for their actions, the principal said.

“After several of the students talked with the guidance counselor, some of them turned themselves in,” Barczak said.

Law enforcement was not called to investigate the incident, the principal confirmed.