Kindergarten Student Brings Gun to School - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

Jonesboro, AR -- Marsha Mays Reporting

Kindergarten Student Brings Gun to School

JANUARY 3, 2006 -- POSTED AT 10:00 P.M. CST 

JONESBORO, AR -- Only eight school days have passed since a junior high student at MacArthur Junior High School brought a loaded gun to school and threatened to use it. Now, within the same school system, a kindergarten child at the Jonesboro Kindergarten Center carries a gun to school in his coat pocket.

"That ain't good. That's dangerous for a child that young to have a gun like that, even though it wasn't loaded," says Renitha Broadway, who has a kindergarten child at Jonesboro Kindergarten Center.

Around 9:00 Wednesday morning, a teacher felt something heavy in the coat pocket of one of her students. That's when she checked the coat and found a 22-caliber semi-automatic handgun. After immediately taking the child and the weapon to the school resource officer, the incident was under control. Myra Walker is a parent with 2 children in the Jonesboro Public School System. She says both incidents at the schools are disturbing, but believes it's not a problem with the school.

"It's most alarming and concerning for parents these days that our schools are having to deal with a problem that should be dealt with at home. Parental supervision is the key to knowing what our children are going to do and what they're going to carry to school," says Myra Walker, a parent with two children in JPS.

Walker added that she has never once questioned the safety of her children in the school system and as proven, even when problems do arise within the school, the staff is prepared.

"Our staff at Jonesboro Public Schools seems to be trained in exactly how to handle these manners. They know our children individually and they're able to pick up on problems in which these children are bringing into our schools from home," says Walker.

Both gun incidents come at a time when the Jonesboro School Board is considering cutting their elementary school resource officers. After a millage proposal to taxpayers failed twice in little over a year, the school board is now faced with cuts that could possibly decrease the safety for students in the school system.

"Once again, this is an example of how our community needs to support our public schools. Even though you may not have a child in public schools, you need to continue to support them and that would be just completely horrible if our S.R.O.'s got completely cut due to the lack of funds," adds Walker.

K8 News contacted the Jonesboro Public School's Administration. Superintendent Steve Singleton released this statement commenting on the kindergarten child bringing the gun to school saying quote "No students were in danger at anytime, and it appears that there was no intent for the child to use the weapon." He added that "immediate disciplinary action has been taken."

The Jonesboro Police Department is handling this investigation in which the child's parent could face felony and misdemeanor charges.  

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