Braxton Citizens' News, Opinion

Exciting week…

It was an exciting week for me in more ways than one. On Thursday I attended the West Virginia Press Association meetings in Charleston. It is always good to visit with colleagues and most usually its a learning experience as well. These were no exception.

In the evening I attended WVPA’s Media Reception at the Culture Center on the Capitol Complex. I spent quite a bit of the evening visiting with Delegate Lori Dittman. We discussed a number of state happenings as well as several topics important to our area. The more I am around Lori in her new setting the better I feel about the representation we have in Charleston. She is just the type of voice we need in the Capitol City.

I was also pleased to be able to visit with my ole friend Tom Clark. Tom recently was appointed to the House representing Webster and Nicholas Counties. I have known Tom for years. We were colleagues in the newspaper business when he owned the Webster Echo and we served on the WVPA Board together.

I found out that Lori and Tom share an office at the Capitol. I think that will lead to a beneficial partnership for Braxton and Webster Counties. The two communities have lots of commonalities.

There was excitement in the county of a different type on Friday. I guess I was asleep at the wheel since I didn’t know anything about it until Saturday when a reader mentioned it.

There was an incident at the high school involving a student and a gun. I tried to follow it up Monday for a story but was unsuccessful. I spoke to the State Trooper in charge, only to find out that a recent departmental policy change prevents him from giving me information which would have to come from Charleston headquarters. I knew that would never work with our deadline. I tried to call the Prosecting Attorney only to find out that he wasn’t in the office today. Fortunately, I was able to contact our Superintendent and quickly discovered that the rumor mill had inaccuracies. Donna was limited to what she should share due to confidentiality restrictions. However, she did make the following social media post.

“On Friday, February 2, 2024, it was reported to administration that a student had brought a weapon to Braxton County High School to show another student on the previous day. The student was removed from the school, and law enforcement was contacted immediately. No direct threats were made by the student. This incident is under investigation by law enforcement.

“We cannot legally discuss the discipline issued to a specific student. However, it is a violation of WV Code and WVBE Policy 4373 to bring weapons to school. Students who are found to be in violation of these provisions are generally suspended form school for one year.

“Braxton County Schools is committed to keeping our students and staff safe. Please encourage your students to report any violations to school administration and/or law enforcement. If you see something, please say something.”

We will continue to look into the matter and if we feel there is any additional information that the public needs to know, we will provide it. I hope the incident brings awareness to students that their actions have consequences.