First Graders Got to Gun Meant to Protect Them

Weapon was left in an unlocked case on staff member's desk
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 16, 2019 5:00 PM CDT
Employee Trained to Have Gun Let First Graders Get to It
Cindy Bullock, Timpanogos Academy secretary, participates in shooting drills at the Utah County Sheriff's Office shooting range during the teacher's academy training, in Spanish Fork Canyon, Utah. About 30 teachers in Utah are spending their summer learning how to stuff wounds and shoot guns as part...   (AP Photo/ Rick Bowmer)

Two first-graders got hold of a gun that an employee was trained to use to protect them in their school, renewing discussions in an Ohio district about whether staff members should be armed. Vicky Nelson had left her grandson and another student in her office in March while she went to the restroom, the Columbus Dispatch reports. Nelson, transportation director for Highland Public Schools, works in an office a short walk from an elementary school. She was allowed to have the gun there, after undergoing training for the district's concealed carry program. The gun was in an unlocked plastic case. When she returned from the restroom, the case was empty, the gun was on the desk, and the children were nearby.

“My feeling is that (guns) don’t belong in schools," the school board president said. The superintendent, Dan Freund, suspended Nelson for three days without pay and took her out of the concealed carry program. Training for participants runs four, eight-hour days, per the Dispatch. Freund said he "became physically sick" when he heard about the first graders. "People were horrified," he said. (Read more guns in schools stories.)

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