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Published: Friday, 4/20/2012 - Updated: 2 years ago

Student at Keyser takes gun to school

8th grader says he needs protection

BY NOLAN ROSENKRANS
BLADE STAFF WRITER

An eighth-grader at Keyser Elementary told school personnel he took a loaded gun to school Thursday to protect himself from kids in the neighborhood who have been harassing him, Toledo Public Schools officials said.

The student made no threats with the weapon, officials said, but told other students about the 40-caliber handgun.

A student relayed to a teacher that the classmate had the gun about 1 p.m., Assistant Superintendent Brian Murphy said, which led to a search of an eighth-grade classroom in the South Toledo school at 3900 Hill Ave.

"We certainly appreciate that," he said. "That student made the right decision."

Scared he would be found out, the 14-year-old boy gave the gun to a classmate -- also 14 -- who in turn ditched it in a bathroom trash can. Administrators found the gun in a trash can, and later identified the student who brought it to the school.

The district plans to schedule expulsion proceedings for the student, Mr. Murphy said.

Older kids that don't go to Keyser have picked on the student on his way to school, the student told school officials, so he brought the gun for protection.

Both boys involved were arrested by TPS security, and were taken to the juvenile detention center. Toledo police intend to charge the youths with illegal conveyance of a weapon in a school, a class five felony, and with tampering with evidence, a class three felony, said Assistant Lucas County Prosecutor Patricia Wardrop.

Hearings are pending.

Mr. Murphy said TPS plans to start disciplinary hearings against the boy who helped the student hide the gun.

The identities of the neighborhood youths the boy claimed harassed him were unknown to TPS officials Thursday afternoon. If they turn out to be TPS students, and were bullying the boy, they might also face discipline from the district.

Officials do not yet know how the boy got the gun. He told them he got the gun "from his neighborhood," Mr. Murphy said.

Staff writer Mark Reiter contributed to this report



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