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Gun found in 7-year-old’s backpack at elementary school in Battle Creek

Posted: 6:37 AM, Nov 01, 2019
Updated: 2019-11-01 06:38:29-04

BATTLE CREEK, Mich. — Officials with Prairieview Elementary School say a gun was found inside a 7-year-old's backpack last Wednesday.

A letter sent home to parents says the weapon was recovered without incident by a staff member while placing papers in the backpack.

The Lakeview School District says the employee involved did exactly what staff are trained to do, to be aware of potential safety concerns and respond in a manner to help keep their school family safe.

It has been determined that the child did not put the gun in the backpack and did not plan to bring it to school.  No student saw the weapon and at no point did the weapon leave the backpack.

There is no indication that there was ever any intent to cause harm.

The district says the matter has been turned over to the Battle Creek Police Department and Child Protective Services.

The district says it is currently reviewing the incident and will make recommendations to ensure that we continue following best practices in all matters of school safety.

Letter sent home to parents Thursday about Wednesday's incident:

"Lakeview Parents,

I would like to make you aware of an incident that took place yesterday at Prairieview Elementary School.  Please know that in the event of an active threat to student safety, our communication timelines would be significantly shorter.  In this instance, we felt it was important to focus on informing and supporting our Prairieview students, staff and parents, and to provide you with the most updated and accurate information regarding the following event.

Yesterday, a gun was found in a seven-year-old Prairieview student’s backpack.  The weapon was recovered without incident by a staff member while placing papers in the backpack.  The employee involved did exactly what staff are trained to do, to be aware of potential safety concerns and respond in a manner to help keep our school family safe.

It has been determined that the child did not put the gun in the backpack and did not plan to bring it to school.  No student saw the weapon and at no point did the weapon leave the backpack. This is a very unfortunate incident, but there is no indication that there was ever any intent to cause harm.

The matter has been turned over to the Battle Creek Police Department and Child Protective Services.  We will continue to support their investigations.  We are also in contact with Secure Educational Consultants, the company that provided our training and evaluated and updated our safety plan.  They are currently reviewing the incident and will make recommendations to ensure that we continue following best practices in all matters of school safety.

The entire Prairieview staff greeted students on the playground this morning.  As disheartening as this incident is, thanks to their dedication and commitment, Prairieview students came to school today knowing they are cared about and ready to learn.  For that, we are thankful."