Wash High student who brought gun to school expelled

December 4, 2013

A ninth-grade Washington High School student charged after bringing a gun to school Nov. 19 has been expelled.

Nathaniel Eisel, 17, of Extension Avenue, was expelled Tuesday by Washington School Board at its monthly meeting.

Eisel was arrested and charged after a handgun fell from his pocket during a playful scuffle with a student in the high school’s hallway. Students saw the incident and reported it to faculty, prompting a lockdown shortly before 3 p.m. Students were later evacuated and were dismissed around 4 p.m.

Eisel was charged as a juvenile with disorderly conduct, a firearms violation and risking a catastrophe.

Washington School District Superintendent Roberta DiLorenzo said there were past disciplinary problems with the student, and that she believed parents were aware that the student would receive severe punishment.

“We’ve set the standard a while ago,” she said. “If you’ve done the max, you will get the max … Parents knew we would go through the procedures.”

The school board also approved the expulsion of a second student Tuesday. DiLorenzo said the junior high school student made an aggressive threat toward a teacher in November. DiLorenzo said the student had a history of outbursts.

“We have a consistent history of handling theses situations,” she said.

The students and their families were not in attendance.

After the Nov. 19 incident, DiLorenzo said she received numerous calls from parents about the lack of notification from the school district about the lockdown.

“We got a lot of phone calls about procedures, in that why weren’t they notified from the district,” she said.

DiLorenzo said school officials met at the high school following the event to review the situation. Concerns, like problems with the loudspeaker system, were discussed with the board. Additional safety measures, such as ways to have the doors in the school lock from the inside, were also addressed.

“We reflected on the procedures and were we could improve,” she said. “We learned some things and are taking a good look a additional security.”

The addition of cameras in the parking lot could be among the security upgrades. The board approved the submission of a Safe Schools Initiative Target grant application for $25,000. If the grant is secured, the money will fund the purchase of additional cameras to cover the parking lot and to purchase classroom kits, which would provided necessary items like food and first-aid supplies in the case of an extended lockdown.

DiLorenzo said the kits and cameras would not have had an impact on the Nov.19 incident.

“But after reviewing our strategies, we decided they were (things) we should have.”

Francesca Sacco joined the Observer-Reporter as a staff writer in November 2013, and covers the Washington County Courthouse and education. Prior to working with the Observer-Reporter, Francesca was a staff writer with a Gannett paper in Ohio. She graduated from Point Park University with a dual bachelor’s degree in print and broadcast journalism.

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