A Fayette County public schools student was arrested Thursday afternoon after a loaded gun was found in a backpack in a recycling bin behind the school district's central offices on East Main Street.
The incident occurred about 1:30 p.m., Superintendent Tom Shelton said.
According to Shelton, district officials had heard a rumor that a student might have brought a gun to school. But they noticed nothing until a workman happened to open the bin and see the backpack containing the gun, he said.
Shelton said administrators investigated with help from district security personnel and approached the student after receiving a tip. After initial denial, the student acknowledged that the weapon was his, the superintendent said.
Fayette schools officials said the student was charged with possessing a weapon on school campus. He will face punishment through the juvenile justice system; also, administrative consequences from the school district could include expulsion from school.
The schools' central office building mainly houses administrative officials and staffers, but two alternative programs for students with behavior or discipline issues also operate there. The programs serve about 50 middle- and high-school age children.
Letters explaining Thursday's incident were sent to families of students enrolled in the two programs, the school district said. Shelton said officials don't think the gun was ever taken inside the building.
Shelton said it was unclear whether the student intended to leave the gun in the recycling bin or retrieve it later.