A 16-year-old student at Lincoln Junior High School in Northwest Washington was shot in the neck during his lunch period yesterday after an argument with an outsider erupted over a basketball game in the school yard.

The victim, Kenneth Givens, son of Josephine Givens of 211 Q St. NW. was serious but stable condition early today at Children's Hospital where he was undergoing treatment for a small caliber bullet wound.

Lincoln principal Michael Durso said Givens is enrolled in the school's special education, but he was unable to say why the boy had been assigned to the specialized classes.

Two students at the school said the shooting occurred about 1:15 p.m. after an argument broke out because Givens refused to allow the outsider to take part in a basketball game. Durso said several other students and other persons were in the court area at the time.

Durso said he was told of the incident by students, and that he instructed a staff member to call police and an ambulance.

Police released few details of their investigation into the incident, but described the gunman as being in his late teens or early 20s.

Durso said it was the only shooting incident at the school at 16th and Irving streets NW during his three years as principal.

However, Durso said, the school of 750 students and about 75 teachers and support staff is plagued with security and discipline problems, which he attributed to older, outside people.

Durso said the outsiders, usually of high-school age or a little older, try to use the school's basketball court, which is accessible from 16th Street, and also must be chased from inside the school building during the day.

"It's something that's with us everyday. We can't say, 'Now we are safe and secure' and involve ourselves in something else," Durso said. "Something has to be done about security in our schools."