Salem high school teacher on leave after allegedly bringing gun to school

A Sprague High School science teacher is on leave after allegedly bringing a gun to school.

Students alerted school officials that Richard Johnston was seen with a weapon on campus near the end of the school day Friday, said Lillian Govus, the Salem-Keizer School District communications director.

Govus said she could not confirm if the weapon was loaded. School district officials are investigating the allegations.

Assistant Principal Lillian White shared details of the incident with parents and employees via autodial message Friday.

"Earlier today, some of our students reported seeing one of our employees with what appeared to be a concealed weapon," White said. "While this may be legal, Salem-Keizer Schools policy prohibits any employee or student from possessing any item like this on school property, regardless of permit status."

It is unclear if Johnston had a permit to carry a concealed weapon.

Employees are prohibited from possessing firearms, including look-alikes, while on school property or at other school-sponsored activities, according to Salem-Keizer School District employee administrative policies. 

An employee found to be in violation of this policy is subject to disciplinary action. The policy does not specify potential disciplinary actions.

"We are taking these reports very seriously and are investigating the alleged situation," White said.

Principal Craig Swanson is expected to send an additional autodial message to parents and staff Monday night.

Johnston's leave began Monday. Govus said officials did not find there was a threat against the students or staff.

She said the school district only involves Salem Police when criminal matters are involved. District officials have not involved police at this time.

This story is developing and will be updated with information as it becomes available.

Email Lauren Hernandez at lehernande@statesmanjournal.com, call 503-399-6743 or follow on Twitter @LaurenPorFavor

© 2017 KGW-TV


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