Cheyenne, WY (KGWN) - It was a careless mistake on the part of Lincoln Trujillo, a junior at South High School, who on Monday night carried his airsoft gun into a South High School basketball game.
"I wasn't really thinking about it, like I knew I had it, but I wasn't thinking too much about it and had walked into South with it still in my pocket not thinking about it," Trujillo said.
Someone noticed the gun in his pocket, not knowing if it was real, and notified the athletic director.
"You come onto school grounds with a BB gun, airsoft pellet gun, a stun gun, it will be an automatic expulsion," said Dr. Tracey Kinney, Assistant Superintendent of Instruction for LCSD1.
It's a tough lesson to learn for Lincoln, the number one singles player on the varsity tennis team, a member of Post 6 baseball and the owner of a 3.6 grade point average this year.
"I understand what I did was wrong and there deserves punishments for that, but at the same time I believe that they should maybe look into it a little bit more. Into my background, my education and my academics," Trujillo said.
Unfortunately for Trujillo, the school says accidents still can happen and they cannot factor academic standing or reputation into their decision because of past incidents around the country including Columbine and Sandy Hook.
"The potential risk to everyone else, all the other students and staff members is so high with any type of a gun or a firearm that its presence on school grounds has no purpose," Dr. Kinney said.
As a sign of his character Lincoln has written an open letter to the school and those affected to apologize for his actions.
"I have learned that one choice can change your life and one bad decision not only affects me, but also everyone around me. I hope that others learn from my mistake."
The school district is allowing Lincoln Trujillo to attend their educational annex to keep up on his school work under a stipulation agreement.
If he doesn't break that agreement, he could return to South High School next year as a senior.
This is the fifth expulsion in three years at LCSD1 for a weapons related incident.
Open Letter from Lincoln Trujillo.
To those that have been affected by my actions:
Last Monday, my friends and I took part in an airsoft war. In fact we had been playing with them all weekend. On Monday morning, as stated before, we had had an airsoft war, it lasted for around and hour. When we were done I left, while my friends went to south. I kept the airsoft with me all day, carrying it in my pocket. Around 4:30, I went to South High. I knew the airsoft was with me, but as I would explain, it was like a wallet. I knew it was there, but at the same time I wasn’t thinking about it. My purpose of going to the gym was to enjoy the game with my friends. I had no intention of ever using the airsoft, because as I stated before, I was not thinking about it. At that moment, I did not think it would alter and affect so many people the way it has.
This being said, I would like to first apologize to the man who noticed the airsoft first, because at that time, he did not know whether it was real or not, and whether or not the was in any real danger. I would also like to apologize to everyone else that was affected: Mr. Noble, all the school principles, and certain teachers. My coaches, who have been supportive, my friends and family, and especially my mother, who has to deal with the multiple burdens placed not only on her, but also on me as a result of my expulsion. There are rules and policies in place for student protection, and when they are broken there deserves to be consequences. I understand that what I did was wrong, and even though it was a mistake, I do deserve to be punished.
I have learned that one choice can change your life, and that one bad decision not only affects me, but everyone around me. I have also learned that there is a fine line between taking responsibility for your actions and standing up for what you believe in. On a personal note I support the policy of no weapons on school ground, and when this policy is broken there deserves to be consequences, but I also believe that the punishment should fit the crime. This by no means takes away from the chaos I have caused, or the damage that has been done.
During my expulsion I will still be working towards gaining my credits, and I will be studying and working harder and more frequently in order to graduate with my class. I will also be participating in other activities to fill my time
I hope that others learn from my mistake…
In the end, I would once again like to apologize to all those that have been affected, and I would like to thank those that have supported, and will continue to support me during this time.