published Thursday, September 19th, 2013

Second-grader suspended for bringing gun to school

School leaders and police put Woodmore Elementary School on lockdown Wednesday afternoon after discovering that a second-grader had a handgun in his backpack.

It's unclear whether the weapon was loaded, but no one was hurt, said Hamilton County Schools Assistant Superintendent Lee McDade.

"The kid was dealt with. The police were notified. And so were the parents," he said.

Chattanooga Police Chief Bobby Dodd said police went to the school at 800 Woodmore Lane after being notified that a 7-year-old had a gun.

"Another kid told on him for having the fully loaded .40-caliber handgun," Dodd said. "He showed it to one of the kids but never threatened anyone."

Dodd said the gun belongs to the student's parents.

The student is suspended from school, McDade said.

Carrying a weapon to school is a zero-tolerance offense under Tennessee law and can result in expulsion from school for one calendar year.

Superintendent Rick Smith said, "It's concerning that an 8-year-old would have access to a handgun. We're very concerned."

about Kevin Hardy...

Kevin rejoined the Times Free Press in August 2011 as the Southeast Tennessee K-12 education reporter. He worked as an intern in 2009, covering the communities of Signal Mountain, Red Bank, Collegedale and Lookout Mountain, Tenn. A native Kansan, Kevin graduated with bachelor's degrees in journalism and sociology from the University of Kansas. After graduating, he worked as an education reporter in Hutchinson, Kan., for a year before coming back to Chattanooga. Honors include a ...

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