Police: 13-year-old in custody after bringing gun to Florissant middle school

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by KMOV.com staff

KMOV.com

Posted on February 14, 2013 at 9:32 PM

Updated Thursday, Oct 24 at 4:57 AM

FLORISSANT, Mo. (KMOV.com) -- Florissant police say a 13-year-old was taken into juvenile custody after he brought a gun to his middle school class, then turned himself in to a teacher on Thursday.

Officers responded to reports of a student with a gun at Cross Keys Middle School in Florissant. According to officials, the student handed the unloaded firearm over to a teacher, who then reported the incident.

District officials say 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 a release, the school's principal praised the Cross Keys staff for handling the incident "quickly and professionally." Jana Shortt, communications director for Florissant Schools, said trust between students and staff helped defuse the situation.

"Making students feel like there is a safe place to go and a trusted adult they can talk to," Shortt said. "In that way, things happened as we would hope that they would happen, where the student would come forward."

Florissant police say the student could be charged as a juvenile for unlawful use of a weapon.

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Here is the letter sent home to parents regarding the incident:

February 14, 2013

Dear Cross Keys Family,

I am writing to inform you about an incident that occurred today in which a student self-reported bringing an unloaded firearm to school to a teacher and then turned the weapon over to the teacher, who immediately reported the incident to school and District administrators.

 

The Florissant Police Department was contacted, and officers took the student into juvenile custody.

Although the student brought this to the school’s attention, the student will face disciplinary action in accordance with District policy. A student may not possess, transmit or handle any weapons – including anything that looks like a weapon -- on school property. Such actions result in long-term suspensions (up to 180 days) or expulsion.

Providing a safe environment that allows children to learn is our first priority. I appreciate the actions of our staff for handling the situation quickly and professionally.

Please take this opportunity to remind your children that weapons of any kind are strictly prohibited on school property and encourage them to report unsafe situations.

Thank you for your continued support,

 

Jeremy VanPelt

Principal

 

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