PITTSFIELD -- Pittsfield High School was put in "shelter in place" status on Thursday after a student, who later was found to have a BB gun in his backpack, was removed from the school for causing a disturbance, according to police.

Police responded to the school on Thursday morning after the student, 15, had gotten into a confrontation with the school's vice principal over being sent home, Sgt. Michael Maddalena said. The student was being disciplined for allegedly entering into an unlocked office, throwing furniture and making prank phone calls, he said.

The student allegedly "became loud and belligerent" toward the vice principal and had to be restrained by other students, Maddalena said. The student then left the building. When police arrived at 10:19 a.m., the school had been put into a "shelter and place" status, he said.

The student was located in a parking lot on Willis Street and was taken into custody after he was uncooperative when police tried to speak to him, Maddalena said. During a search of the student at the police station, police found a black pellet gun in his backpack.

The juvenile, whose name is being withheld due to his age, was charged with carrying a dangerous weapon on school grounds, disorderly conduct and causing a school disturbance. All of the charges are misdemeanors and will be handled in juvenile court.

Pittsfield Schools Superintendent Jake McCandless said he was "very grateful" for the response of the police. McCandless said the school administration contacted the families of students on Thursday to notify them of the incident.

To reach Nathan Mayberg:
nmayberg@berkshireeagle.com
or (413) 496-6243