A Paul Laurence Dunbar High School student took an unloaded gun and ammunition in his backpack to school Wednesday.
"Just before dismissal this afternoon, we discovered that one of our students had brought a gun to school today. The gun was not loaded, however the student also had ammunition in his backpack," Principal Betsy Rains said in an email to parents.
Rains said the student will face serious administrative consequences through the school district, and may also face legal consequences through the juvenile court system.
The student has been charged with unlawful possession of a weapon on school property and taken into custody, district spokeswoman Lisa Deffendall said in a statement.
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Rains said in an interview that one student saw the gun in the backpack between 2:30 or 2:45 p.m. and told a teacher. The teacher, who immediately had possession of the backpack, called administrators.
The student was immediately taken into custody, Rains said.
Rains said she was not aware of any threats prior to the discovery of the gun.
She said she was "surprised" that that particular student had a gun.
Because school officials had possession of the gun, she said the school did not go into a lockdown situation. "No one was hurt," said Rains. She said school officials would continue to look into the incident.
"The people who made us aware of the weapon did the right thing," Deffendall said. "This incident provides an excellent opportunity to reinforce with our students and community the importance of reporting safety concerns and keeping communication lines open."
"This is an example of good communication working, because our administrative team was able to take action to ensure the safety of our students."
Deffendall said district officials were thankful to administrators and law enforcement officers for their immediate action.
Rains said school officials are taking the matter "very seriously."
"Any time we have a health or safety issue on campus, we want to be sure our families have the most accurate information directly from us," Rains said in the email she also provided to the Herald-Leader. "We are committed to keeping Paul Laurence Dunbar High School a safe place to learn and work."