MOUNT GILEAD, N.C. -- A pre-kindergarten student brought a gun to Mount Gilead Elementary School, according to Montgomery County Schools Superintendent Dale Ellis.
The gun was found in the 4-year-old boy's bag Thursday.
Ellis said the student opened the bag and a teacher noticed it and confiscated it immediately.
The gun was turned over to Mount Gilead police around 11:30 a.m.
Montgomery County Sheriff Chris Watkins said the gun was loaded.
A parent will be charged for not securing the gun, Watkins said.
The student will be suspended for the remainder of the year, according to Mount Gilead Police Chief Pat Preslar.
Presler said he asked the boy why he had the gun and was not given a clear answer. He said he does not believe the boy felt threatened or wanted it for protection.
Montgomery County Schools released the following statement Thursday afternoon:
A Pre-Kindergarten student at Mt. Gilead Elementary was in possession of a handgun at school today. The weapon was not removed from the student’s book bag and there was no direct threat to the safety of any students. An alert staff member saw the weapon in the open book bag, immediately took possession of it, and turned it in to the office. The proper authorities were contacted and they are actively involved in the resolution of this unfortunate situation.
“Student safety is always our primary concern and something we take very seriously,” stated Dr. Dale Ellis, Montgomery County Schools Superintendent. “Our thanks go out to the staff member who confiscated the weapon and to our local law enforcement officers for their quick response.”