Tenino student could face criminal charges after bringing Airsoft gun to school

A Tenino High School student was expelled from school and will face criminal charges after he allegedly brought an Airsoft gun, which was painted black and resembled a pistol, to school on Monday, according to school officials and police.

The age and grade of the student were not released.

Tenino Police Chief John Hutchings said his department did not respond to the school Monday but was made aware of the incident on Tuesday. After an investigation, Hutchings said they will refer the teen to the juvenile division of the Thurston County Sheriff’s Office for possession of a weapon on a school campus.

The gun had been painted black and the orange tip, which had indicated it was a toy rather than a real pistol, had been removed, he said.

While the Airsoft gun is not considered a firearm, it is a weapon, which violates state law, he said.

The teen did not remove it from his backpack but had shown it to other students, Hutchings said.

David Chappell, the principal of Tenino High School, said once the staff learned about the Airsoft gun, they quickly separated the student from the backpack and the weapon was placed in a safe.

Chappell commended his staff for moving as quickly as they did and ensuring no one was in danger.