A 15-year-old student at Reservoir High School in Fulton, Maryland, has been charged with bringing a loaded handgun to school Tuesday.
The boy, according to a Howard County police statement, had left the school without permission around lunchtime and, when he returned around 12:30 p.m., had been requested by staff to have his bag searched, per school policy.
When informed of the pending search, the student left the area and was spotted “dropping an object in the woods.” A school staff member retrieved the object and found that it was a loaded handgun. The staff member immediately notified the police.
When the student returned to school, he was charged with “possession of a handgun on his person and on school property.”
“There have been no reports that the student made any threats or that there were any problems leading up to the incident,” the statement said.
According to police, officers searched the student’s home in Laurel, and found “no additional evidence or weapons.” An initial investigation also revealed that the firearm was unregistered.
Superintendent Michael Martirano sent a message to parents and members of the community Tuesday evening, explaining the incident and saying “students and staff are safe and not at risk from this threat.”
Martino also made a plea to parents in the community to be mindful of their children’s mental health.
“Parents, I’m asking for your help,” Martino said. “Over the last several weeks, we have seen an increase in threats of violence on social media as well as incidents of physical violence in our schools. Please talk to your children about the seriousness of threats of violence and have conversations at home about how they may be feeling.
“If you have weapons in your home, please secure them so that our children do not have access. We have mental health and student well-being supports in our schools and community, and want to provide students every opportunity to receive these supports.”