Superintendent Retires After Bringing a Handgun to School - KFYRTV.COM - Bismarck, ND - News, Weather, Sports

Superintendent Retires After Bringing a Handgun to School

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There's been plenty of debate about guns in schools. This time, a gun got an administrator in hot water. Last week, the superintendent in Tioga says he felt his school was in danger, and did something that ended up costing him his job.

Dwayne Johnston brought a gun to school last week. He says at the time he felt it's what he needed to do, but looking back, he says he would do things differently.

On Tuesday, October 2, Johnston says a student was leaving campus, and he made threats that led Johnston to believe people in the school were in danger.

"I did bring a weapon to school with me the following day," says Johnston.

Johnston didn't want to be on camera for the interview, but spoke candidly about his decision. When he brought the gun to school, someone noticed the weapon under his suit jacket.

"I received a visit from one of my board members that day, we discussed it, and the weapon was taken home."

The school board placed a letter of reprimand in Johnston's file, and he submitted his letter of resignation, effective at the end of the school year.

"In this instance, I've let the community down in a tremendous way, and not in a way that brings good light. And they are such good people here," says Johnston.

Johnston says brining the weapon was a mistake, but he hopes other districts around the state, including here in Tioga, use this chance to review and implement safety measures."

"When they feel under stress and pressure, they have processes and procedures in place where they've already identified the resources, strengthen those relationships with law enforcement, social services."

Some school board members in Tioga were upset about the resignation, and others wondered why Johnston would even bring a gun into the school. Johnston says he's proud of students and teachers for not letting this be a major distraction.

Johnston was involved in an incident in Montana where a man had a gun across the street from an elementary school where he was working. He says it's fair to say that situation was part of the reason he brought a gun to school last Wednesday.

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