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The incident occurred at Sharp Leadenhall Elementary School in West Baltimore at around 3 p.m. The third-grade student was arrested and charged with gun possession.

The school is for students with special needs.

“Children have emotional disturbances at this school. The fact that a child brought in a weapon of any kind, I’m very shocked,” said parent Angela Nelson.

After arresting the boy, police took him to the Department of Juvenile Services. The school called his parents, but other parents arriving to pick up students say they weren’t notified.

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“When did this happen?” Nelson said. “No notice was sent home. No notice at all.”

School leaders say they were tipped off to the weapon when they heard the boy threatening to shoot another student. A search of his bookbag turned up the gun.

“Anybody could have got shot in here. The principal, the teachers,” Nelson said. “This is a special ed school and they’re letting this happen.”

“It’s frightening. I certainly think it’s a cause for alarm,” said Pat Lakatta, independent artist/teacher. “I am sure many parents who are hearing this report will be speaking to their children about the importance of safety.”

School leaders wouldn’t discuss the matter on camera, but in a statement to Eyewitness News, school spokeswoman Edie House wrote, “School staff are commended for acting swiftly to avert any harm to students and staff.”

Police presence has been beefed up, but parents are shaken.

“It’s a mixture of frustration and anger and concern,” said Zuri Pearce. “Not only for my son, but for other students and other faculty members.”

Pearce says this incident is enough to begin home-schooling her 6-year-old son.

“I had concerns before, but now this even heightens it,” she said.

“Parents have to be more aware of what’s going on with their children. The kids are on the Internet and parents don’t even know what they are doing. There are so many predators out there now that you can’t be too careful these days,” said Leroy Hill, friend of employee.

According to school policy, any student found to have brought a weapon on school grounds is eligible, after due process, to receive consequences outlined in the City Schools Code of Conduct, including extended suspension or expulsion.

Investigators are also trying to identify the gun owner and determine if anyone else should face charges in connection with the incident.

source:WJZ13

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