Nora Bettina Block, an art teacher at Hardin High School, is facing felony charges after a handgun was found in her classroom over the weekend.
Block knowingly possessed a firearm on school property and knowingly hid the firearm from law enforcement, according to charging documents obtained by MTN News on Thursday.
Officers said Block hid a gun that was found in her classroom on Friday. Instead of reporting it immediately, she stored it in her desk overnight before hiding it under a student’s desk and calling authorities the next day.
According to the Big Horn County Sheriff's Office, a student resource officer received information that a student at the high school had a gun inside the building on Friday, January 26.
The student was found in Block’s art room despite not having any classes there, according to the charging documents. When questioned about the gun, the student said he had been "messing around" and the gun was just a black hairdryer that was found hidden behind the chalkboard.
The student was escorted off school property following the incident.
On Saturday, officers were again dispatched to the school after a gun was found on the property. According to court documents, Block told officers she found the gun while cleaning her classroom.
In an interview on Monday, one student told officers that he had found the gun in Block’s classroom shortly after the student had been removed from the class on Friday. The student said he alerted Block, who said she would take care of it.
Officers attempted to interview Block, but she put them off.
Later that day, the school principal called officers saying Block confessed she had lied about the incident, and that she found the gun and put it in her desk overnight.
She then told the principal she went into work on Saturday, removed the gun from her desk, and placed it under a student’s desk before calling school officials to say she had found a gun.
Block is charged with tampering with physical evidence, possession of a weapon in a school building, and obstructing a peace officer.
She is scheduled to be arraigned February 27.
An arrest warrant has been issued for the student.