10-Year-Old Found With LOADED Gun At Los Angeles Elementary School

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In a shocking incident that has left the Los Angeles community reeling, a 10-year-old fourth-grader was found to be in possession of a loaded handgun at Glassell Park Elementary school, according to American Military News.

The incident, which took place on Tuesday, has raised serious concerns about the safety of students and the increasing prevalence of weapons in schools.

Principal Claudia Pelayo, in a message to the school community, confirmed the incident, stating that "a handgun was found on campus." She further assured that immediate action was taken, which included securing the weapon and notifying the Los Angeles School Police Department and Region West Operations for further investigation. "The parents of the impacted student have been notified," Pelayo added.

The Los Angeles Times, citing unnamed sources, reported that the student had brought a loaded .40-caliber Glock 22 to campus, a weapon that had previously been reported stolen. The district, however, has not confirmed these details. This incident is part of a worrying trend of increasing "weapons incidents" and fights at Los Angeles Unified schools. This comes amidst calls from parents for increased police presence and security, following a significant cut to the police budget by the school board four years ago.

The Glock 22, as described by the manufacturer, is "by far the most popular police service pistol in the United States," and "fires the potent 40 S&W cartridge and holds more rounds for its size and weight than most other full-sized handgun in its class." This incident has sparked a renewed debate about the role of police in schools and the safety of students.

Data from the district reveals a concerning rise in weapons incidents since students returned to in-person learning following pandemic-related campus closures. In the 2018-19 school year, there were 669 weapon "incidents," a drop from the 705 of the previous year. However, in 2021-22 these incidents rose to 994 and rose again to 1,197 the following year, a nearly 80% increase compared to pre-pandemic levels. This year, through April 15, there were 903 weapons incidents.

The debate over school safety and the role of school police has been further fueled by the recent arrests of two students carrying loaded semiautomatic handguns around Northridge Middle School, and a fatal shooting incident involving a Washington Preparatory High School student.

Parents, concerned about the safety of their children, have submitted a petition with more than 4,000 signatures calling for a restoration of the reduced school-police budget and a return of officers to campus. They argue that the school board's decision to cut the school police budget by 30% in 2020, following the Minneapolis city police killing of George Floyd, was misguided.

The parents criticized the board for associating the districts own school police with the actions of a city police force in another part of the country. They argue that the presence of police on campus would deter students from bringing weapons to school, a view shared by Board member George McKenna.

However, this view is not universally accepted. Joseph Williams, director of Students Deserve, a group that recruits and assists student activists who call for defunding the police, argues that the presence of an officer could potentially create a more dangerous situation by diminishing trust between students and adults.

The debate over the role of police in schools and the safety of students is complex and multifaceted. It involves not only the question of police presence but also the need for counseling and other non-law-enforcement support to make students feel safe. As the community grapples with these issues, the safety of students remains the paramount concern.