Kindergarten: Hardly a time to have to think about gun safety. The preschool education, meant to be a time for playing, singing, drawing and social interaction, was all put on hold at a Pennsylvania elementary school, after a 5-year-old boy came to class with a loaded .22 caliber pistol in his backpack.
Writes The Associated Press via ABC News: “Aliquippa Police Chief Donald Couch Jr. says the loaded .22-caliber revolver was found Monday morning inside a backpack, but they are sure the student meant no harm. Police have contacted the child's mother and her boyfriend to determine whether any criminal charges are warranted. The gun came from the boy's home and is registered to someone born in 1914 who police think is deceased.”
School superintendent David Wytiaz said another student told on the boy, and administrators at the elementary school yanked the firearm from the child's backpack and turned it over to police.
“It's a very unique situation,” Police Chief Donald Couch Jr. said. “As far as the circumstances, how it got there, I can't go into that. I can stress that at no time were any students in danger. We are definitely sure there was no ill will by the student towards anyone.”
Superintendent Wytiaz reiterated that point.
“We believe at this point, there was no threat made or anything like that,” Wytiaz said. “The gun was removed without anyone seeing it.”
School officials say a letter was sent home to parents today – one day after the incident occurred.
Not good enough, say some parents, who are disgusted over yet another incident of a child – one as little as 5-year's-old – who had access to a loaded weapon and brought it to school to “show it off.” Others are outraged that the school did not immediately notify them.
“My son, they all ride the bus together. I feel really scared for him,” said parent Darryce McCoy.
Another parent said: “That’s not good enough. We need to know when it happens.”
Pittsburgh’s WPXI news reporter Gordon Loesch posted a copy of the letter on his Facebook page.
Wytiaz writes that the “weapon was never visible to any student,” and that the 5-year-old will be subject to “School District Policy regarding weapon violations. Local law enforcement will determine the extent of any other charges.”