HHS art teacher, student arrested after handgun found in classroom
Thu, 02/08/2018 - 5:00am admin
By Gary Rood / Big Horn County News
Hardin High School art teacher Nora Bettina Block is facing felony charges related to a handgun found in her classroom. The charges include possessing a firearm on school property, tampering with evidence and obstructing justice in connection with the handgun.
On Jan. 26, it was reported that a student was in possession of a gun inside the high school. While no weapon initially was seen, it later was found and Block arrested. Undersheriff Michael Fuss stated in a press release last Wednesday that the firearm was a Glock 27 handgun.
An arrest warrant was issued for high school student Uttekaat Birdinground, 17, for attempted armed robbery, carrying a concealed weapon and possessing a gun on school property. In the meantime, schools were shut down Friday in Hardin due to threats from Birdinground.
That day, he was apprehended by the Bureau of Indian Affairs and FBI near Garryowen without incident at about 3:30 p.m.
District Superintendent Dennis Gerke initially declined to name the student. However, Birdinground has been suspended pending a school board decision to expel. A press release from the school stated the staff were not pleased at any point during the situation.
Block has been suspended with pay pending the results of an investigation by the Big Horn County Sheriff’s Office. In addition, School District 17H & 1 is conducting its own investigation.
Both Block and Birdinground are scheduled to enter their pleas on Feb. 27 at the Big Horn County Courthouse.