Toy Gun Prizes Raise Questions at USC

Updated: 04/23/2014 6:14 PM
Created: 04/23/2014 5:44 PM
By: Dan Conradt

(ABC 6 NEWS) -- For the second time in a week, controversy at a southern Minnesota school district.

And it's drawing harsh words from the man whose daughter was at the center of the first dispute.

"We have a program here where we allow kids of good behavior or other positive things to have an opportunity to pick out of a prize box," said Dr. Jerry Jensen, Superintendent of USC schools, based in Wells.

We showed two pictures to Rick Drescher and his daughter Alyssa. The pictures showed two elementary school-aged boys holding Nerf guns. The pictures came from the USC newsletter.

"To us it's clearly a Nerf gun, but it still resembles a gun," Rick Drescher said, examining the photos.

“That prize box is typically filled by very well-meaning parents who donate these prizes," Superintendent Dr. Jerry Jensen said.

“They're having problems with you know kids coming in and accidentally bringing things in or even willfully bringing things in, then turning around and giving things out as a prize," Rick Drescher said.

We also showed the Dreschers a copy of the USC weapons policy. It lists items that are prohibited ... including:

"Look-alike guns or toy guns," Rick Drescher said, reading the copy of the policy.

"It was brought to our attention that we had sent home a prize of a squirt gun," Dr. Jerry Jensen said.

On Thursday, the USC school board will discuss the possibility of expelling 17-year-old Alyssa Drescher for one year after a police dog indicated on her school locker.

“They found a pocket knife. I forgot about it,“ she explained.

"Apparently according to photos from the USC website and this policy, as long as the school district gives out those guns or those functional, non-functional look-alike guns or toy guns, then it's okay," Rick Drescher said.

“We're going to be screening those better and hopefully we won't have those toys going home, but clearly they were toys. I don't think anything that looked like any kind of a weapon. But at the same time, probably not the most appropriate thing," superintendent Dr. Jerry Jensen said.

Alyssa Drescher’s expulsion hearing is scheduled for 5:30pm Thursday evening at the school in Wells.

ABC 6 will be there.

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