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Boy in Prince William School Siege Is Released

By Tara Young
Washington Post Staff Writer
Saturday, April 23, 2005; Page B06

A former Bull Run Middle School student who smuggled guns and ammunition into the building and briefly held a group of people hostage last year was released by the Department of Juvenile Justice this week, the Prince William County commonwealth's attorney's office said yesterday.

The 13-year-old boy, who was 12 at the time of the June 18 incident, pleaded guilty in August to three felony weapons and abduction charges. He was committed late last year to the Beaumont Juvenile Correctional Center for an indefinite period.

Under the conditions of his release, he is prohibited from having contact with firearms. He will be home-schooled and will continue to receive counseling, said Commonwealth's Attorney Paul B. Ebert.

He also will have to abide by a curfew, the prosecutor said.

The boy's mother, Naomi Lewis, a cafeteria worker at the school, was driving there with her son June 18 when she heard a rattling in her van. She discovered two rifles, a shotgun and ammunition and questioned her son about them. He said he didn't know why they were in the vehicle.

Lewis locked the van and left the weapons inside. The boy later slipped out and took the guns into the school.

After being discovered by an administrator, the boy ran to the front office with a rifle, threatening to kill people. A teacher was able to reason with the boy until police arrived and arrested him.

The boy told authorities that he had been mercilessly bullied by other students at the school and that he wanted the abuse to stop.

Martina Boone, a member of the Bull Run Middle School Parent-Teacher-Student Organization and chairwoman of the Prince William Parents Executive Committee, said she hopes the juvenile justice system has provided the youth with the skills needed to interact with others.

"I would like to know whether there are any steps being given . . . to help him stop being a victim," said Boone, who doesn't view the boy as a threat. "I can't envision that this is something that will happen again unless you repeat those same sort of triggers. I do feel that he needs ongoing support, and I hope that he gets it."

Bull Run PTSO President Lynda Bottos said many parents are working to understand what caused the boy to lose control in June, in the hopes that it will never happen again.

"The problem is the child is a victim of bullying," Bottos said. "It has been documented as far back as second grade. I don't think the child should have been put through what he was put through in the first place."

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