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School district: Nothing questionable in reporting of gun at school

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BATON ROUGE – Public relations officials with the East Baton Rouge Parish School System said Monday afternoon, all protocols were followed when a teacher found an unloaded gun in the backpack of a student at Wedgewood Elementary Friday.

The gun was discovered as students were packing their bags for the end of the day – around 3:30. A teacher who saw the weapon took the 6-year-old student, the student's bag and the gun to the principal's office where the school district said its standard operating procedures were put into place.

The principal, in an attempt to discern the weapon's authenticity, called the child's mother then notified the school system's central office. Deputies were not dispatched to the school for an investigation until Monday, a sheriff's office spokesperson said in a news release.

According to the school district, deputies being dispatched two days later did not constitute late reporting and said in a phone call with WBRZ, communication between district executives and security officers transpired Friday evening.

The principal notified their supervisor at the district office on South Foster Drive after a phone call with the child's mother, the district said. The central office supervisor then reported the situation to the director of school security who notified a representative with the School Drug Task Force, a special school resource officer-type division of law enforcement assigned to patrol schools through the East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff's Office.

As protocol played out, school administrators at the campus off O'Neal Lane sent both the gun and child home with their parent.

Monday, deputies said, they spoke with the mother who reported the weapon was kept locked and separate from ammunition but her 19-year-old son guards their home with it when she's gone.

“The grandmother stated that she believes the child found it and placed it in his backpack,” a sheriff's office spokesperson said in a statement.

In a statement released late Monday, the school district said it quickly determined there was never an immediate safety issue and that "the student is being disciplined in accordance with the student rights and responsibility handbook."

But, charges are expected, the sheriff's office said in its news release about the matter.


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