Capital High student seen with gun in online video returns to school

HELENA – Helena School District leaders say a Capital High School student who posted a video online showing him holding a gun has been allowed to returned to class.

Helena Superintendent Jack Copps said the district put together a threat assessment committee that spent two days investigating the incident. He says they found no evidence that the teen made any direct threat toward the school or other students, so he was allowed to return to school.

“Very frankly, we’re very pleased with the outcome,” said Copps. “There is sufficient evidence here that there was no threat ever intended, and we’re pleased that that is the case.”

Administrators said the boy posted a video on the social network Snapchat that showed him displaying a handgun and questioning whether simply owning a gun made someone a threat. They do not believe the video was filmed on a Helena school site.

Copps said the district took the video especially seriously because it came less than a week after the deadly shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.

“It is our obligation to make absolutely certain that every child in our schools is as safe as we can possibly make,” he said. “In that regard, that means that we must be sometimes overly cautious, even, to ensure that students aren’t at any danger.”

Copps said the incident highlights how the district’s policies on potential threats are intended to function.

“The process clearly worked,” he said.