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Update: Student, 13, Brings Gun to Florissant Middle School

A 13-year-old student at a Ferguson-Florissant School District middle school brought an unloaded gun to school Thursday. The student turned the gun over voluntarily but still may face disciplinary actions.

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. 

Cross Keys Middle School, part of the Ferguson-Florissant School District, is located on 14205 Cougar Dr., near the intersection of Lindbergh Boulevard and New Halls Ferry Road. 

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:

  1. A firearm as defined in 18 U.S.C. 921
  2. 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
  3. 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.
JD February 15, 2013 at 01:35 PM
How did he get it? If it was a parent they should be brought up on charges.
Tony Russo February 15, 2013 at 02:30 PM
I heard he had a one bullet with him as well. Also why did he need protection was he being threatened by other students Where the students involved at St Charles west the reason for the gun
Brian Feldt (Editor) February 15, 2013 at 03:23 PM
Both good questions JD and Tony. We're following up with the school district this morning to get some more answers regarding the incident. Thanks for the comments.
Elizabeth O'Fallon February 15, 2013 at 08:10 PM
No gun should be ever be accessible to children. I think what struck me about this article though is how he said he thought he needed it for protection. I have a son who is only twelve but he is old enough to understand that he'd likely be expelled from school by having a firearm on his person. There must be something more to this story though if a child felt threatened enough to bring a gun to school.
Aja J. Junior (Editor) February 15, 2013 at 08:17 PM
We're gathering information as it becomes available. Currently, they are still investigating a number of things.
Elizabeth O'Fallon February 16, 2013 at 01:53 PM
I do have a friend who's daughter attends this school. Sadly she found out about this incident, not from the school, but the local news. This should not be.
Amber February 19, 2013 at 02:16 PM
My son attends this school and also found out from the news. My concern is why this child needed protection. Has he gone to his parents or teachers to ask for help? My son was bullied and the school was very lenient on their no tolerance policy. When we don't address these problems right away we have seen drastic consequences. I fear for these kids.
stacey February 20, 2013 at 10:23 PM
I HAVE to say something, I can't keep quiet on this one! I've lived in Florissant my entire life, and have met many friends that i trust. One of my good friends has a son who went to this school. He was BADLY bullied for a year, close to 2yrs. As a Mom she went to the school multiple times, it just got worse. She wastched her son change into a depressed young man, his grades drastically fell. She had to get him to a psychologist who also begged this school to intervene and stop the bullys! Months went by of this mom literally picking her son up, dragging him in tears to school everyday! The things that were done to him by these bullys were horrible, and an everyday occurence! What's the school do? Say? Well after a suicide letter from this young boy, they told the mom to home school him which she is now doing! What does that solve? Guessing their bullying someone else now. Point being, this boy told on himself w/this gun. I find it sad that he thought he needed protection, he's SCREAMING for help, and what happens? Oh their going to seek dispilnary action, GREAT JOB! How many times as he went home crying or how many times as his parents or himself contacted the school on being bullied? Tell us that! So we can somehow disipline this school who should have a zero tolerance for bullys as well!!!
stacey February 20, 2013 at 10:31 PM
By the way i'm in NO WAY condoning guns. It's awful that he had access to a gun, even worse he brought it to school!! BUT for a child to think he had to in order to protect himself at school?? The place that is supposed to be a SAFE, FUN, LEARNING ENVIRONMENT? Teachers, principals, staff are paid to protect and teach our children. Not only paid but their also supposed to want to do so and love doing so!! I'm sorry for venting, but I've been seeing way too much bullying being shoved to the side, not taken seriously. Let me say if a child goes to school everyday and is bullied after awhile their going to LOSE IT. Anyone would, but add the fact that most kids tell adults but they dont listen or do anything. Guees what then a child taked things in to their own hands, or gets so depressed they themselve don't want to live! Ok, i'm done but if the school feels the need to reveal all this info to the media MAYBE they should tell us why on earth the kid felt he needed protected! Juss saying! #YOURTHEBESTADVOCATEFORYOURCHILD

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