Memorial High School (copy)

A Memorial High School student was arrested Thursday morning after allegedly trying to enter the school with a knife.

A Memorial High School student was arrested Thursday morning while allegedly trying to bring a “long fix-bladed kitchen knife” into the school, according to the Madison Police Department.

An incident report states a plow driver called 911 after seeing the student walking near the school with the knife around 9:21 a.m.

“The witness said the suspect attempted to conceal the weapon up a sleeve after realizing he was being watched by the plow driver,” the report states.

Principal Matt Hendrickson wrote in an email to families that the SRO, a security assistant and the dean of students took the student into custody after making contact at the door.

“The school will work with the family through the behavior education plan to ensure that we maintain a safe school environment for all,” Hendrickson wrote.

The district's Behavior Education Plan classifies possession of a weapon other than a firearm or gun as a Class 3 or 4 offense, though an "actual, attempted, or threatened use of a weapon" toward another person would be a Class 5 offense, with a mandated recommendation for expulsion. Class 3 and 4 offenses include a mandatory out of school suspension and administrative involvement or discipline.

The student was taken to the Juvenile Reception Center on a tentative charge of having a dangerous weapon on school grounds, which is a Class A misdemeanor for a first offense. 

It’s the second incident this week in which a student was found with a dangerous weapon on a Madison high school campus. On Tuesday, 18-year-old Tyrese Williams was arrested after West High School staff and that school’s SRO found a loaded handgun in his backpack.

Hendrickson wrote "several students studying in the commons area" witnessed the event, but "most of our students were in their classes taking finals and unaware of the incident."

"I want to emphasize the importance of 'see something. say something,'" he wrote. "We were able to act quickly, address the situation immediately, and resolve it with our security team because someone called 911 and said something."

Sign up for Cap Times newsletters:

Newsletters:

Share your opinion on this topic by sending a letter to the editor to tctvoice@madison.com. Include your full name, hometown and phone number. Your name and town will be published. The phone number is for verification purposes only. Please keep your letter to 250 words or less.

Scott Girard is the local k-12 education reporter at the Cap Times. A Madison native, he joined the paper in 2019 after working for six years for Unified Newspaper Group. Follow him on Twitter @sgirard9.