A 15-year-old Ramsey Street High School student is charged with a felony after bringing a weapon onto the school's campus Monday morning, according to the Cumberland County Sheriff's Office.
School resource officers say a .32 automatic handgun was found in the pocket of the boy's hoodie. He also had a magazine of bullets, said the Sheriff's spokeswoman Debbie Tanna.
Cumberland County Schools spokeswoman Patricia Hollingsworth said the gun was found as the student was walking into school and through the school's metal detectors. She pointed out that the gun was not loaded.
Students at the alternative-style school are subject to a search prior to going to their assigned classrooms as part of the school's protocol. Their outerwear is also searched by staff.
"There was not an immediate threat. Of course if our schools go on lockdown, then of course our parents have to be notified," Hollingsworth said. "The school would have gone on lockdown (if the gun were loaded), but that wasn't necessary because it happened at the very beginning of the day before the student was able to get into the normal population of the school."
Because the gun did not get beyond the entry and therefore did not cause a lockdown, Hollingsworth said a notification phone call was not sent to parents until around 1:30 p.m.
Parent Tammy Newbill said she wished a notice had been sent earlier. She would have preferred to have heard about the gun from the school instead of news reports.
"They did catch it in time. I do give them that. They did catch it in enough time, but like I said I do feel we should have been notified that some kind of incident happened at the school but the children are okay," Newbill said before getting the phone notice. "They can call us for all other kinds of things. I feel they could have called us for that. What if they didn't catch him? What would have happened after then. Who's to say he would not have used the gun? How soon would we have been notified?
The boy was taken to the Cumberland Regional Juvenile Detention Center. Tanna said it is unclear how soon he will have his first appearance in front of a judge..