Columbia Falls Student Won’t be Expelled Over Gun

By Beacon Staff

COLUMBIA FALLS – A Columbia Falls High School student who inadvertently brought an unloaded rifle to school in the trunk of her car will not be expelled.

The school board made its unanimous decision Monday night, and the 16-year-old honor student and varsity cheerleader is expected to be back in class Tuesday. The junior was suspended Dec. 1 after contraband-sniffing dogs were brought to school and she told administrators she had forgotten the rifle she put in her trunk after a hunting trip.

Monday’s disciplinary hearing had to be moved to a school gymnasium to accommodate the nearly 150 people who attended, some of whom waved signs criticizing school officials’ handling of the case and decrying federal gun laws.

Dean Chisholm, the board’s vice chairman, said the incident appears to be “an unintentional act by a young lady who regrets it, who understands the policy.”

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