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Principal at Omaha middle school is on leave; starter pistols were discovered in school office

Principal at Omaha middle school is on leave; starter pistols were discovered in school office

Beveridge Magnet Middle School

Beveridge Magnet Middle School was evacuated Tuesday afternoon after staff discovered what looked like weapons on campus in an office area away from students.

The principal of an Omaha middle school is on leave after the discovery of starter pistols in the school’s office area prompted an evacuation of the building.

Families at Beveridge Magnet Middle School at 1616 S. 120th St. were sent a note Wednesday night telling them that Principal David Lavender is on leave.

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“The leave is not related to conduct with students,” Charles Wakefield, chief human resources officer at the Omaha Public Schools, wrote in the letter. “We understand that you may have additional questions. Please know that due to privacy laws, there is very limited information that I can share.”

On Tuesday afternoon, the school was evacuated after the starter pistols were found. Staff secured the pistols, which are used to start track and field races, and called law enforcement.

A note sent Tuesday evening to families and staff said that because the school day was almost over, staff and students evacuated the building. The note also said the starter pistols were found as part of a separate investigation.

An Omaha Police Department dog that is trained to sniff out explosives and ammunition swept the building Tuesday afternoon as a precaution.

Wakefield said in his Wednesday letter that Michaela Jackson will serve as Beveridge’s interim principal.

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Bob Glissmann helps cover public safety and weather events as an editor on The World-Herald's breaking news desk. Follow him on Twitter @BobGlissmann. Phone: 402-444-1109.

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