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Airsoft gun causes alarm at Alvirne

HUDSON – In a politically charged environment that keeps many students, parents and educators on edge, even an airsoft gun brought to a school can create quite the stir.

Such was the case Monday morning at Alvirne High School, as a shelter in place condition was declared for more than two hours.

A shelter in place is considered less harsh and punitive than a “lockdown.”

“They did not know it was an airsoft gun at the time,” Superintendent Larry Russell told The Telegraph.

The gun in question was later identified as an airsoft pistol, which police found outside the building. Once officers recovered the weapon, students were released from the shelter in place and the day went on as usual.

Officials were able to use video surveillance and a search dog to trace the student’s actions.

Reports are that during the morning hours at school, a student showed another student a gun. The student who was shown this weapon notified administrators that he had seen a student with a gun in the restroom. Subsequently, the student who showed the gun was immediately removed from the school.

Russell declined to comment on whether a student was taken away in police custody. In the meantime, police worked to recover the weapon during the shelter in place condition.

“The messaging was such that students understood that they were safe because the person was removed immediately from the school,” Russell said.

Russell said the shelter in place happened during first period, meaning students stayed in those rooms for that period of time. He said it was in effect from 7:30-10 a.m. Monday.

He also said the student then left the building and dumped the airsoft gun before coming back into the building. Hudson School District spokesman Terry Wolf said officials quickly learned the building was safe.

“Shelter in place is, ideally, you’re in your room, but you’re still continuing to work,” Wolf said. “Shelter in place can be used for medical emergencies and also just to keep the hallways clear.”

She thought the communication made it clear the building was safe while police officers were searching for the weapon. Russell thanked police for immediately handling the situation.

“They came right over to the school when they were called, and the staff followed all the protocols that we put in place for safety and communication,” Russell said.

Also on Monday, Russell stated, “The administration at the school and the Hudson and Nashua police reacted and performed admirably in making sure our students and staff were safe. An incident like this shows the importance of ‘see something, say something.’ We appreciate everyone’s cooperation as we worked through what was truth and what was rumor. Everyone working together makes our community and schools stronger.”

Adam Urquhart may be contacted at 594-1206 or aurquhart@nashuatelegraph.com.