10-year-old Takes a Loaded Gun to School in L.A., Where Crime and Fights Are on the Rise

10-year-old Takes a Loaded Gun to School in L.a., Where Crime and Fights Are on the Rise

An eighth-grader (10 years old) brought a loaded gun to Glassell Park Elementary School on Tuesday, The Times has learned.

More and more information about what happened is coming out. Wednesday night, Principal Claudia Pelayo told everyone at the school that “a handgun was found on campus.”

The event did not hurt anyone.

“We took immediate action, including securing the weapon and notifying the Los Angeles School Police Department and Region West Operations for further investigation,” she said. “The parents of the impacted student have been notified.”

Three sources told The Times that a boy brought a stolen.40-caliber Glock 22 to school. The gun was loaded and ready to use. Sources say that a student who saw the boy show off the gun told an adult about it. The district didn’t say yes or no to those facts.

The gun recovery shows that there have been a worrisome number of “weapons incidents” and fights at Los Angeles Unified schools. This is because many parents want more police and security after the school board cut the police budget four years ago.

According to the principal’s message, school police would be “on site” on Wednesday “to support the school.”

The message only told the parents that a gun had been found and didn’t say anything else about the student.

“Our school will continue to follow the District’s Discipline Foundation Policy to provide a safe and healthy learning environment for our students,” the school’s statement said. But there was no information given about the policy on discipline or how it related to this case.

After I asked, a district official gave me a link to the parent-student handbook.

This gun is “by far the most popular police service pistol in the United States,” according to the company that made it. It also says that it “fires the powerful 40 S&W cartridge and holds more rounds for its size and weight than most other full-sized handguns in its class.”

Since kids started going to school again after being away for more than a year because of the pandemic, starting in March 2020, there have been a lot more incidents involving weapons at L.A. schools.

Data from the district shows that there were 669 “incidents” involving weapons in the 2018–19 school year, before the pandemic. This is less than the 705 “incidents” the previous year.

But from 994 cases in 2021-22 to 1,197 the next year, that’s a nearly 80% rise from the levels before the pandemic, even though school enrollment was going down.

Up until April 15, this year, there were 903 events involving weapons. Since then, two students were arrested on May 3 for bringing loaded semiautomatic handguns around Northridge Middle School. One day on April 15, a student at Washington Preparatory High School with a gun shot and killed another student just off campus.

Also on Tuesday, at the regular meeting of the Board of Education, a group of parents brought a petition with more than 4,000 signatures asking that the school police fund not be cut again and that officers be sent back to campus.

After the killing of George Floyd by Minneapolis police in 2020, the school board decided to cut the budget for school police by 30%.

Parents were angry at the board on Tuesday for linking the district’s school police to the bad behavior of a city police force in a different part of the country.

Another group of parents from Clinton Middle School also wanted the police to be there. They said in public comments that the school wasn’t doing enough to stop the “five to six fights a day” and the cellphone videos of these fights that are then shared on social media.

Another gun was found, but it doesn’t really fit into the current discussion about school safety and the role of school police.

Officers have never been at grade schools in L.A. Unified. One cop would always be at a high school, and another would split their time between two middle schools before the cuts.

As things stand, the only times police can enter a school are in an emergency, to investigate something, or to make an arrest. A recent effort to make a few exceptions to this rule failed after only one day because people couldn’t agree on who had given permission for the change.

Cecily Myart-Cruz, President of the teachers union, attacked the school board on Tuesday for not keeping their promise to cut the police budget even more.

Max Arias, another union head who speaks for a lot of non-teaching workers, said that unarmed campus workers were key to making schools safer.

Arias also said that the district should be blamed for budget cuts that have made job hours for school aides too short for them to qualify for health benefits.

A lot of people have different ideas about whether or not college police would be a good way to stop people from carrying weapons.

George McKenna, a member of the board, has said many times that having an officer on campus keeps kids from bringing guns to school.

However, Joseph Williams, who is in charge of Students Deserve and helps student activists who want to cut police spending, doesn’t agree with that.

In an interview, he asked, “Was anyone hurt when the guns were taken away? Not at all. Why? Few students on that school were afraid to tell adults, “Hey, this is going on, and we need to do something about it,” and adults were able to step in and help.

He said that having a cop there would have made them less trusting, which could have made the situation more dangerous.

But he also said the district was wrong for not giving kids the counseling and other non-law enforcement help they needed to feel safe.

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