Child brings handgun to elementary school dance

MUNDY TWP. — Carman- Ainsworth’s Rankin/Dillon elementary schools annual Daddy/Daughter & Mother/Son dance ended on a sour note last Saturday evening.

The situation at Rankin Elementary, 3459 Mundy Avenue, unfolded about 15 minutes before the two-hour dance ended at around 8 p.m., according to a letter from Rankin principal Cathy McGilvery, sent out to parents and guardianson Monday.

As the event was winding down, a parent informed McGilvery that their child had been shown what was believed to be a toy gun by a classmate. McGilvery said she immediately addressed the concern to the stated child and family. That is when it was discovered that the child had a real handgun which later was found to be unloaded.

The child’s family was alarmed but cooperative and left the premises immediately, McGilvery said. Mundy Township police were notified and responded about the time the dance was ending and families were leaving. An investigation over the weekend and on Monday found no evidence that the student threatened any one with the gun but nevertheless “made a poor decision” to bring the weapon to the dance, McGilvery said.

Mundy Township police have the gun in possession and is continuing its investigation. C-A officials also are conducting an independent investigation for the purpose of student discipline as set forth by Board of Education policies and State law, McGilvery said.

“Although we believe this is an unfortunate and isolated event, it is also a very serious one that I want to communicate with you personally,” McGilvery said in her letter. “Fortunately, all involved were able to effectively and immediately address the situation to ensure safety.”

She ended by encouraging parents and guardians to talk to their children about the importance of telling an adult at school when they see or hear something thought to be “unsafe.”

C-A also had a firearms incident at Dye Elementary in March 2013 when a first-grader brought a small-caliber gun to school in a backpack. Students aware of the gun informed a teacher. Police were called and determined that the gun was not loaded. Disciplinary action was taken. C-A’s Student Code of Conduct prohibits bringing weapons to school including fake ones.

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