JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Duval County Public Schools issued a reminder for parents to keep weapons out of the reach of their children after it was discovered that a 12-year-old from Timucuan Elementary School was carrying a firearm in his backpack, a spokesperson said Tuesday.
According to Lauren Ricks of Duval County Public Schools, the school was notified of the incident on Tuesday and sent out a notification to parents.
News4Jax obtained a police report from the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office, which said that the student on Thursday told police he took the gun to school and had been carrying it for the past two days. He told police the gun served as protection, and that he believed there was a strange man watching him walk to and from school.
According to the report, the student told police he was snooping for the gun owner's cookies when he found the firearm in a nightstand.
“Everyone has a role in keeping schools safe,” said Dr. Diana Greene, the school district's superintendent. “The parent who contacted the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office should be commended, but we need gun owners to do everything possible to keep firearms away from children.”
Lakesha Burton with the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office also reminded parents of the importance of gun security.
“If you’re an an adult, and you are able to legally have a gun, you have the responsibility to make sure the gun is secure," Burton said. “We always encourage gun locks. There are a number of things you can do. The main thing is to not leave it unsecured.”
The Duval County Public School Police Department is conducting its own investigation.
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