Student brings gun to St. Ann Catholic School -

Student brings gun to St. Ann Catholic School

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By Lakisha Jackson By Lakisha Jackson

(KMOV)-- A student brings a hand gun into the classroom.  It happened today at St. Ann Catholic School in Normandy.  Fortunately no one was hurt, but it is raising questions about student safety.

Students spotted the hand gun inside the seventh-grader's backpack and immediately told their teacher.  It turns out that gun was loaded but also locked.  The student told the principal that he didn't know how to unlock it or use it, but it still has some parents on edge.

Parents waiting to pick up their students discuss the email they received from the school after a student brought a gun to class.

"That's why I send her here, because I want her to feel protected and for me to have peace of mind," Rhonda Butler says.

In less than two years, several guns have been brought into classrooms throughout the metro.  In May a student sneaked a hand gun through security at Soldan High School in St. Louis.  Before that students at Ritenour, Riverview Gardens, Hazelwood West and Pattonville toted illegal weapons alongside their books.

"You hear about that somewhere else and then it happens to you," Butler says.  "I have a lot of fear and anxiety for sure.  It's hard when you think your child is in a safe situation and they're not safe."

St. Ann's principal says this was an isolated incident but won't comment about where the student got the gun or why he brought it to class.

"I didn't feel threatened at all," Principal Mary Jo Reichenbach says.  "I don't think there was any malicious intent involved."

"For him to feel the need to bring a gun -- what does that say?" Butler says.  "Is there something going on that's not being addressed?"

Another parent told us that she has two kids at St. Ann and that another had graduated.  She says she feels "nothing but safe" and even allows her kids to walk the one mile home.

But this breach in the safety barrier now has the school thinking about teaching gun safety.

"We do a lot of emergency preparedness, but certainly this might bring more to our attention," Reichenbach says.

The seventh-grader won't be allowed to return to class until the investigation is over.  Normandy police submitted its case to juvenile courts to decide whether charges should be filed.

The principal says the whole school is keeping the boy and his family in their prayers tonight.  The boy is back with his parents.

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