Officials at two different schools in North Carolina found guns on students Tuesday. One was found at Wendell Middle School in Wendell, NC and the other was found at Fairview Elementary School in Rocky Mount, NC. The findings were unrelated.
According to WRAL News, the mother of the middle school child has been arrested and charged with storing a firearm in a manner accessible to a minor – a misdemeanor according to Wake County District Attorney Lorrin Freeman.
School Principal Catherine Trudell said on-campus personnel promptly informed law enforcement and Wake County Public School System Security (WCPSS) when they became aware of the situation, and the gun was immediately confiscated.
“First, know that all students are safe,” Trudell said in a message for the parents. “A thorough investigation by law enforcement and WCPSS Security has revealed that the student did not mean to bring harm to our school, but instead was showing the weapon to classmates. There is no indication that anyone was threatened. “
According to Trudell, any student who is discovered to have a weapon or a replica of a weapon on school property or a school bus will be subject to disciplinary action in compliance with district policies, and will also face maximum legal consequences.
Trudell urged parents to “be vigilant and monitor” their children as well as to follow safety procedures when storing firearms in their homes.
“We are grateful to the student who reported this to staff,” Trudell wrote. “The best means to keep schools safe is to maintain healthy and open relationships between adults and children at all times.”
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Trudell ended the letter vowing to keep the school safe.
“Know that we will continue to take every measure to ensure the safety of our students,” Trudell wrote.
This isn’t the first time in recent years that the school faced some scary circumstances. Last September, an eighth grader committed suicide on campus.
Rocky Mount police officers found a 6-year-old student had an unloaded 9-millimeter handgun in his backpack on Tuesday morning at Fairview Elementary School.
Administrators called the police at 10:47 a.m. Tuesday and informed officers that the boy had a gun, according to a news release from the Rocky Mount Police Department.
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In Rocky Mount, where a second incident was reported, police said staff on campus secured a backpack with a firearm and removed the student from class. Due to the protocols in place and the quick action by the staff on campus, “a potential major incident was avoided,” police said.
“There were no threats made with the weapon and it was never displayed by the child,” Rocky Mount police wrote in a press release.
The police are currently investigating how the student acquired the weapon.
“The situation that occurred [Tuesday] should be a reminder to all gun owners to secure their weapons in a safe manner so that minors cannot possess them,” Rocky Mount Police Chief Robert Hassell said. “This was a preventable situation.”
Even though these occurrences ended without tragedy, they aren’t the first gun-related incidents in North Carolina this month. On February 8th, a shooting occurred near Hillside High School in Durham that left one student dead and another injured.
In Wake County, six schools were put on lockdown simultaneously earlier this month. Wake County school board members have urged state legislators to increase funding for school safety and mandate secure firearm storage.
Over the past year, law enforcement agencies in Wake County have pressed charges or obtained juvenile petitions against 34 individuals for allegedly communicating threats of mass violence at schools. None of the students arrested for the threats spent any time in juvenile detention.
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Why is the mother being punished? Mothers don’t kill people, guns do
How far we have fallen. In 11th grade I actually was allowed to bring in my deer ( Remington 600) rifle to a short story class for a presentation. The principal carried the bolt in separately ( he was a hunter himself) and it was only inserted under his watchful eyes. I got an “A”.