Staff member at school fired for bringing handgun to work - KCTV5

Staff member at Lawrence school fired for bringing handgun to work

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A staff member at a Lawrence elementary school has been fired after bringing a handgun to the school.

A spokesperson for Lawrence Public Schools said that the person was not on the teaching staff at Sunset Hill Elementary, but would not give the person's gender, their specific job position or say how long they had been employed at the school.

The spokesperson said another staff member noticed the gun Friday afternoon and reported it to administration who then reported the gun to police. Since it was late in the day Friday when police found out, they then opted to come to the school on Monday where they intercepted the employee and the handgun.

Police said the employee was escorted off the property and indicated that returning to school property would result in an arrest for trespassing.

The employee did have a concealed carry permit, but the elementary school has signs clearly posted that state guns aren't allowed on the property.

"Under state law, school districts may prohibit the carrying of concealed weapons by conspicuously posting signs in accordance with the rules and regulations adopted by the Kansas Attorney General," the school district said in a statement.

At this time, the person has not been arrested. Police said their report cites the crime in this instance as possession of a firearm on school grounds, which is a misdemeanor.

The district attorney's office now has the file for a charging decision.

The school district did enforce in a written statement that, "there was no incident with the weapon nor any intention on the staff member's part to cause harm."

The weapon the employee had on them when approached by police was a black Taurus .380 handgun.

"I definitely think it's wrong to have (a gun) in a situation where there's a bunch of kids present," said Jake Sakumura who lives across street from the school. "I see the kids every day when I come home from school, and I would be just so heartbroken if one of them were to be hurt by a gun that was present, accidentally or responsibly or not."

Michael Godinez has a second-grader at the school. He is happy the situation was dealt with swiftly and firmly.

"Whether or not it was an honest mistake, that is a potentially dangerous ... it could become a very dangerous situation very quickly," Godinez said.

Click here to read the full letter sent out to parents and staff about the incident.

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