Anne Arundel County, Maryland, students attending Glen Burnie High School are returning to class Monday after a substitute teacher triggered a lockdown just before the weekend.
In a letter to the school community, Glen Burnie High School Principal Kevin Carr said the gun was found in the backpack of a substitute teacher at around 2:10 p.m. on Friday. That teacher, he said, has since been barred from any more teaching assignments in the school system.
“The incident began when a backpack was found left behind in a classroom as classes dismissed from third period and students were moving to fourth period,” Carr said. “A staff member in the classroom picked up the backpack to determine the identity of its owner, and discovered a handgun in the backpack when they opened it.”
Carr said the school was immediately placed on lockdown and the backpack was handed to police. The teacher, who was in another classroom, was removed and taken into custody while students were held in classrooms.
“Within several minutes, it was determined that the backpack belonged to a substitute teacher. That person was detained by police,” Carr said.
One member of the school community present during the lockdown photographed the detained staff member and identified the man as substitute teacher Derric Andre Simms.
Documents from Anne Arundel County District Court show that a case has been opened against Simms, a 45-year-old resident of Baltimore, Maryland, for bringing a weapon into an area school on Friday.
Simms faces seven charges, including illegal possession of a firearm, having a dangerous weapon on school property and disturbing the operation of a school.
He is also charged with felony possession of a firearm after having been convicted of a violent or drug crime. That felony alone carries a 15-year maximum sentence and a 5-year non-suspendable mandatory minimum if convicted.
Information on what previous felony charges have been filed against Simms was not made available ahead of publication.
Simms is being held without bond and is expected to appear in court Tuesday.
WTOP’s Ralph Fox contributed to this report.