Loaded gun brought to primary school by 7-year-old Days after Uvalde

An investigation is being conducted at an elementary school in Columbia, South Carolina, after a loaded handgun was found in the backpack of a 7-year-old student.

Richland County Sheriff’s Department deputies said the gun was discovered Thursday by Sandlapper Elementary School administrators, according to ABC affiliate WOLO. The incident came just two days after 22 people, including 19 students, two teachers and the alleged perpetrator, died during the mass shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas.

A school administrator was alerted to the situation earlier in the day by a student who said they believed a classmate had brought a gun. The loaded gun was found when the student’s backpack was searched and quickly turned over to the facility’s school resource officer. A police investigation is underway to determine if the gun was brought into the school intentionally or accidentally.

In a letter addressed to parents Thursday, Sandlapper principal Connie May stressed that despite the presence of the gun, the students were never in danger and that “county procedures and board guidelines were followed in responding to the incident,” according to NBC – Daughter WIS.

Backpack pistols for elementary school students with a loaded weapon
A loaded gun was discovered Thursday in the backpack of a 7-year-old student at Sandlapper Elementary School in Columbia, South Carolina. This undated file photo shows a child holding a gun in a backpack.
Smederevac/Getty

“The student never removed the gun from the backpack but it was seen by another student at the end of the day who told a school administrator,” May wrote, according to WIS. “At no time was anyone threatened and our school resource officer quickly took possession of the gun.”

“We are committed to ensuring that Sandlapper Elementary remains a safe place to teach and learn,” May continued. “Parents, you are an important partner in this effort. Please help us ensure no guns are brought into the school. Take a moment to check the book bags in front of the school to ensure that items that could potentially disrupt the school and result in disciplinary action are left at home.”

dr Richland School District Two Superintendent Baron R. Davis released a statement on gun violence and school safety just hours before the gun was discovered. The district’s schools, which include Sandlapper, have already been outfitted with at least one school resource officer each, additional security staff, bulletproof glass and surveillance equipment.

Davis said additional measures, including the possible installation of metal detectors, “unfortunately” would have to be considered during a school board meeting due to take place in June.

“While I am not an advocate of metal detectors, I am an advocate of child safety and will exhaust all measures to keep schools as safe as possible,” Davis wrote. “None of us should rest until we can all feel safe going about our daily lives, shopping at a grocery store, studying at an elementary school, attending a concert, and praying at a church.”

news week reached out to the Richland County Sheriff’s Department for comment.

https://www.newsweek.com/loaded-gun-brought-elementary-school-7-year-old-days-after-uvalde-1710673 Loaded gun brought to primary school by 7-year-old Days after Uvalde

Rick Schindler

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