Updated as of 10:25 a.m.
A 13-year-old student at Cross Keys Middle School in Florissant is in police custody after he brought an unloaded gun into the school and handed it to his teacher, several media outlets report.
According to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the incident happened around 11 a.m., when the student told a teacher that he had a gun in his backpack and that he didn't think he should.
The boy, according to a KSDK report, turned the .38 caliber pistol into a teacher saying that he knew he shouldn't have it at school, but felt he needed it for protection.
Florissant police spokesperson Andy Haarman said that the boy indicated no instance of a threat or bullying in the interviews with the police.
KMOV reports that although the student turned the gun over voluntarily, he will still face long-term suspension or expulsion. Florissant police say the weapon was unloaded, but the student had a bullet in his possession. In addition, the gun is registered, but the police continue to investigate how the boy got the gun.
Jana Shortt, spokesperson for the Ferguson-Florissant School District, said that they have a zero-tolerance policy in relation to these types of incidents but feel good in the result of the situation.
"While this is an unfortunate incident that requires our most serious disciplinary measures in response, we are encouraged by the communication that occurred in this case between student and teacher," she wrote in an email to Patch.
The Ferguson-Florissant School District has the following policy regarding weapons in its schools:
The Board recognizes the importance of preserving a safe educational environment for students, employees and patrons of the district. In order to maintain the safety of the educational community, the district will strictly enforce the necessary disciplinary consequences resulting from the use or possession of weapons on schoolgrounds, buses or at school activities.
A weapon is defined to mean one or more of the following:
- A firearm as defined in 18 U.S.C. 921
- Any device defined in § 571.010, RSMo, including a blackjack, concealable firearm, firearm,firearm silencer, explosive weapon, gas gun, knife, knuckles, machine gun, projectile weapon, rifle,shotgun, spring gun or switchblade knife
- Any instrument or device customarily used for attack or defense against an opponent, adversary or victim;or any instrument or device used or attempted to use to inflict physical injury or harm to anotherperson.
In accordance with federal and state law, any student who brings or possesses a firearm as defined in 18 U.S.C.921 or a device as defined in §571.010, RSMo on school property or at any school activity will be suspendedfrom school for at least one (1) calendar year or expelled and will be referred to the appropriate legalauthorities. The suspension or expulsion may be modified on a case-by-case basis upon recommendation by thesuperintendent to the Board of Education. Students who use or possess other weapons defined in this policy will besubject to suspension and/or expulsion from school and may be referred to the appropriate legal authorities.This policy shall not be construed to prohibit the Board from allowing a Civil War re-enactor to carry a CivilWar era weapon on school property for educational purposes so long as the firearm is unloaded.
This policy will be submitted annually to the State Department of Elementary and Secondary Education along witha report indicating any suspensions or expulsions resulting from the possession or use of a firearm as defined in18 U.S.C. 921. The report will include the name of the school in which the incidents occurred, the number ofstudents suspended or expelled and the types of weapons involved.