Dickinson parents want answers after son was threatened with weapon at school

Published: Apr. 3, 2017 at 7:35 PM CDT
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A Dickinson family says their worst nightmare could've become a reality after their son was threatened with a weapon on school property.

The student who they say threatened their son is back in school.

The family is now waiting for the district to take more action.

More than 200 students walk the halls of Berg Elementary School everyday.

Two of them were involved in an incident two weeks ago still unresolved.

"Shaking. To say the least. What could've happened is horrible," said Ashley Holder, mom.

Ashley Holder says her 11-year-old son was threatened with a knife of this thickness, held Inches away from his face.

"I said 'made you flinch'. He said 'do it again, I dare you,'" said Scott Renville, sixth-grader who was threatened with knife.

What started as a game between middle schoolers quickly escalated.

"I looked back and he had a knife pulled on me," said Renville.

After the March 20 incident the family says they didn't receive any follow up from the school, and no meeting until Thursday of that week.

The student in question was suspended for one day, and had one day of in-school suspension.

"I feel like expulsion or an alternative school would've been the proper consequence," said Dustin Lasyone, father.

Berg Elementary Principal Shawn Leiss said in a statement to KFYR-TV that "Berg provides a safe environment for children. Last week I dealt with and took action on an incident. I can't control what another individual reports and perceives on an incident, but I can tell you as the building principal that Berg continues to provide a safe environment for its children."

This is the Dickinson public schools handbook and inside it says that each principal has the authority to suspend or recommend expulsion for every student.

It also says that possessing a weapon is subject to suspension or expulsion, it does not specify which.

"Any human being that can pull a weapon on any other breathing being, human or animal, has a problem there," said Ashley Holder, mom.

Scott hasn't been in school for a week.

The district has offered to move him into a different classroom, but the family is seeking other options.

"He wants to move back to Watford City because he wants to be completely out of this situation. He wants to be away from this kid," said Lasyone.

No police report was filed for the incident.

The North Dakota Department of Public Instruction requires that each school district adopt a policy penalizing the possession of weapons and firearms on school property.

Punishment must include immediate suspension from school and expulsion.