Unloaded airsoft gun discovered, confiscated at Sycamore High School

Sycamore High School sign in Sycamore on Thursday, May 13, 2021.

SYCAMORE – An unloaded airsoft gun was discovered in a Sycamore High School student’s backpack and confiscated by staff Wednesday, district officials said.

In an email sent by Sycamore superintendent Steve Wilder to district families, Wilder said the gun – which fires plastic projectiles – was discovered unloaded by members of the administration.

Wilder said the gun was discovered through an “unrelated incident.” Wilder told the Daily Chronicle Wednesday the district isn’t able to provide further details on what the incident was without compromising what he called confidential information related to those involved.

“District administration has been working closely with our School Resource Officers (SROs) and the Sycamore Police Department on this investigation,” Wilder said. “We have concluded that the airsoft gun was not brought to school with the intent of causing harm to others.”

Wilder also asked that parents or guardians continue to speak with their children about what’s appropriate and not appropriate to bring to school.

“School safety is of the utmost importance to us,” Wilder said. “Please continue to talk with your students about school safety, the danger of weapons in school, and the importance of sharing any information they may have with adults.”

The high school doesn’t do daily checks for weapons or other inappropriate items, Wilder told the Daily Chronicle, but the district’s policy is for the school community to be on alert.

“We encourage our students, staff, and families to say something if they see something, and we follow up on all reports,” Wilder said. “The conversations that students and parents have at home about everyone’s role in ensuring a safe environment are so important.”

Wilder said he believes Wednesday’s incident and action was an example of the district’s procedures working as they should.

“I also think the situation today demonstrates how comprehensive protocols can be effective in identifying multiple issues,” Wilder said. “They’re the result of a lot of work over the years in collaborating, drafting, revising, and updating procedures to keep our students and staff safe.

This story was updated at 10:30 p.m. Nov. 16, 2022 with additional comment from Sycamore superintendent Steve Wilder.