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SJSO: Student arrested with stolen gun at ESJH

RESERVE — Police said a student found with a firearm on the East St. John High campus possessed a stolen gun.

A computer check showed the gun reported stolen from St. Charles Parish, according to the St. John the Baptist Parish Sheriff’s Office.

The 16-year-old LaPlace male was arrested Friday at approximately 7:30 a.m. for carrying a firearm or dangerous weapon by a student or nonstudent on school property, at school-sponsored functions or in a firearm-free zone and illegal possession of stolen firearm.

Police said the teenager was released from custody to his father.

According to St. John the Baptist Parish Public Schools Superintendent Kevin George, school personnel reacted quickly when discovering the potential threat and had the student and campus secured by 7:30 a.m.

The ESJH school day starts at 7:10 a.m.

School continued as scheduled.

George said the student started the day with in-school suspension from something he had previously done.

As per protocol, two assigned employees check students serving in-school suspension for cell phones or any other items they are not permitted to carry.

One teacher noticed the student in question appeared to have something in his waistband.

The teacher pulled the student out of the room and directed him to the disciplinarian’s office, while using a two-way radio to contact the East St. John school resource officer (SRO).

The SRO met the teacher and student and performed a search, George said, locating an unloaded gun in the student’s possession.

A subsequent search did not recover any bullets.

A subsequent investigation by school personnel described the behavior as an “isolated incident,” and not part of an ongoing violent threat on campus.

Principal Christopher Mayes alerted school parents through a phone messaging system of the day’s events.

“I am very proud that our team reacted so quickly,” George said, highlighting the quick work of Mayes, Zelia Jackson, Tedrick Henry and the St. John Sheriff’s Office for keeping the students’ safety above all else.

George said in all situations involving a firearm on campus, school leaders are governed by state statues to require a recommendation for expulsion.