11:30 a.m. update:
Bartholomew Consolidated School Corp. officials have identified the Columbus East teacher who had a rifle visible in a pickup truck this morning as Mike Metz, who has worked for the school corporation since 2006.
Metz was at his truck when police officers arrived and told officers he had been coyote hunting and had mistakenly left the gun in the truck, school officials said. Metz took responsibility for making a mistake of leaving the gun in the truck, school officials said.
Metz’s is a workplace specialist at the school working in different trades in C4, listed in the Columbus Area Career Center directory as an instructor in construction. He is well-liked by students, said Larry Perkinson, BCSC employee and student assistance coordinator.
State law says a person who legally possesses a firearm and who knowingly, intentionally or recklessly leaves the firearm in plain view in a motor vehicle that is parked in a school parking lot commits a Class A misdemeanor.
A Class A misdemeanor is punishable by up to one year in jail and a fine up to $5,000, according to state law.
COLUMBUS, Ind. — The Columbus Police Department is investigating a report from Columbus East High School students that a rifle was seen in a teacher’s truck this morning.
The school corporation has referred questions about the incident to Lt. Matt Harris, Columbus Police Department spokesman.
Harris said police were sent to East this morning after two students saw a rifle in the front passenger side of a pickup truck at the school. They reported it to school officials who reported it to police.
Officers confiscated the rifle from the truck, he said. Additional details about what type of rifle it was, whether the truck was locked and whether the rifle was loaded are still being sorted out, Harris said. Officers confiscated the rifle from the truck, he said.
School Resource Officer Julie Quesenbery is completing a report that will be submitted to the Bartholomew County Prosecutor’s office, he said.
It is illegal to have a gun on school property, according to Indiana laws. Firearms are prohibited on school property, Harris said.
The teacher was escorted off school grounds and is restricted from returning pending the investigation, school officials said.
Bartholomew Consolidated School Corp. sent out an alert about the incident that went to parents by text message this morning.
School officials said there was never an active threat in the incident and all the buildings and students are safe, the alert stated.
For more on this story, see Friday’s Republic.