Metal detector required after boy brings gun to John Marsh Elementary School

January 11, 2013 2:49:34 PM PST
John Marsh Elementary School has one metal detector, and now all 800 students have to go through it.

That wasn't the case before. But on Wednesday, an unloaded handgun and 33 hollow-point bullets were found inside a 13-year-old boy's backpack in his locker. Now officials are reevaluating the school's security.

"The weapon should have never made it through the front door. Point blank. Period," Jason Vasquez, parent, said.

Parents - many of them furious - met with the principal Friday morning to get answers, and to find out why it took the school a full day to officially inform them of the incident. Children at the K-8 school went home with a note about Wednesday's incident on Thursday.

"There should be absolutely no reason I'm finding out through a friend, 'Oh, there was a gun at school.' I'm sorry what?" Michael Ramos, parent, said.

"Pray to God this never happens again, but if it does that we are to be the first to be informed," Olivia Castellano, parent, said.

The discovery of the gun in the locker came in the afternoon on Wednesday, and school officials said they needed to nail down the facts before releasing information. They made no evening robo calls, nor was anything posted on the school website.

"With all our schools we're working with our principals to make sure that in the event that we are notifying our parents as quickly as possible --- same day," Jadine Chou, CPS chief of safety and security, said. "If the information is accurate, we will notify the parents as soon as possible - again not a matter of time of day."

Marsh Elementary has one full time security guard and one metal detector. Chou says that is now under review.

"[The] goal here is to make sure school is safe. I'm not going to let, no one is going to let the a budget for one metal detector get in the way of safety for students," Chou said.