2nd Michigan School District bans backpacks after finding loaded gun
LANSING, Michigan (AP) — A second Michigan school district is banning the carrying of backpacks on school property concerns about gun violence, This time because a third year was found with a loaded gun.
Grand Rapids Public Schools said in a statement Wednesday that the gun was discovered at Stocking Elementary School this morning and that it is the fourth time this year that the district has discovered a student with a handgun — three of them in backpacks .
District leader Leadriane Roby told a press conference on Wednesday that the ban was “a drastic step” that was needed.
“We have averted at least two tragedies in the last two weeks. We don’t want to stand in front of you again,” said Larry Johnson, chief executive for public safety and school safety.
Flint Community Schools banned backpacks from May 1, citing a statewide “increase in threatening behavior and contraband, including weapons, being introduced into schools at all levels.”
Flint students are permitted to carry items in small purses or clear plastic bags that must be searched. Grand Rapids has not yet announced how its students will transport their books and belongings.
Concerns about guns in Michigan schools are growing a mass shooting by a 15-year-old student at Oxford High School in 2021, which left four students dead and seven others injured.
Ethan Crumbley has pleaded guilty to the shootings. He said he used a gun that had been bought for him by his father that was not secured at home. Investigators believe the gun was hidden inside his backpack on the day of the shooting.
A 6-year-old student shot him teachers in Virginia this year with his mother’s 9mm pistol.
Governor of Michigan. Gretchen Whitmer signed into law a safe storage bill last month It requires gun owners to keep unloaded firearms in a locked storage box or container when “it is reasonably known that a minor is or is likely to be present on the premises.” The law will come into force next year.