Bangor High School. Credit: Gabor Degre

A Bangor High School student was arrested and removed from campus Thursday morning after staff allegedly found a stolen handgun in the student’s belongings, authorities said.

School employees initially searched the student’s property around 10:45 a.m. because they suspected the student had been using marijuana, according to Bangor Police Department spokesman Sgt. Wade Betters.

Their search turned up the gun, which had been reported stolen a few days earlier, along with drug paraphernalia and what they suspected to be marijuana, Betters said. Staff then notified a school resource officer who was on campus and immediately arrested the student. Police did not identify the student, who was younger than 18.

The student was charged with theft of a firearm, a Class B felony, along with two misdemeanors: burglary to a motor vehicle and possession of a firearm on school property.

Betters said that the student was released into the custody of a parent after the arrest. Police declined to release additional information, including whether the gun was loaded and why the student allegedly had it.

The superintendent of the Bangor School Department, Betsy Webb, did not immediately respond to requests for information.

The arrest did not affect the normal routine of the school day, and other students remained in classes with their teachers as it took place, according to a memo sent out to parents by Bangor High School Principal Paul Butler.

“Situations like this are extremely rare in our school,” Butler said. “Federal law and school policy are clear and firm in establishing that a student found to be in possession of a firearm on school property faces the expulsion proceedings.”

If convicted, the student could be confined to Long Creek Youth Development Center in South Portland until the student turns 21.

BDN reporter Judy Harrison contributed to this story.