An Ohio school district has come under fire after a group of First Graders discovered a gun that was left unlocked and unattended.
According to The Hill, the scary incident happened in March and involved students from Highland Elementary School in the South Bloomfield Township, though it is only making the news now. The gun was meant to protect students in the case of a school shooting, and although none of the children involved in the situation were harmed, the results could’ve been disastrous if the gun had accidentally gone off.
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Vicky Nelson, who works as the transportation director for the district, had taken her grandson to her office near the school. According to reports, Nelson is a part of the school’s ‘concealed carry program’ that has been operating since last year. Nelson’s grandson was not the only first grader present at the time. The daughter of the district’s assistant transportation director, Christine Scaffidi, was also at the office.
Nelson left the children unsupervised while she used the washroom. When she returned, she found that the two first graders had discovered her firearm, as it was sitting on top of her desk. It’s unclear where Nelson had been storing her weapon prior to the children discovering it. But, according to reports, it was not in the locked case where it was normally supposed to be.
“I’m assuming that the child picked up the gun from behind the desk and had been holding it,” Superintendent Dan Freund stated to the media.
A firearms trainer, who works with the local sheriff’s office in the district, implied that the incident happened out of neglect. “What happened there was not consistent with the training provided, the policies and procedures or the conditions of being on the [concealed carry] team,” the trainer explained, adding that those part of the program receive training prior to being given a weapon. “That’s a big no-no. It’s inexcusable.”
As of now, Nelson is no longer part of the concealed carry program and has also been placed on a temporary suspension. The district is also reviewing the program to see what changes, if any, need to be made to prevent future incidents like this one.
Many schools have considered having firearms on their property in order to combat the rise of school shootings. Understandably, this has come with intense controversy. Some families feel it is the best way to protect students. However, others feel that this will only increase access to firearms, which could have disastrous consequences. Clearly, as this example shows, the concealed carry program in Ohio has done more harm than good in the short time that it’s been active.
Do you think schools should have a concealed carry program or is it putting more kids at risk? Let us know your thoughts in the comments!