breaking news

Bond set at $20,000 in Springfield gun case

Florida teacher finds gun in kindergartner’s backpack, police say


A teacher found a gun in a kindergartner’s backpack Thursday morning at Somerset Academy Lakes, according to school and Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office authorities. 

According to a message Principal Clint Duvo sent to parents, the student didn’t know the gun was in the backpack. The message stressed that neither students nor the staff at the Summit Boulevard campus were in danger. 

Duvo said the teacher found the firearm before classes began. He said the school’s staff immediately moved students away from the area, secured the classroom and called authorities. 

>> Read more trending news 

The situation was handled “very, very quickly,” said Lynn Norman-Teck, a spokeswoman for the Florida Charter School Alliance.

The sheriff’s office said there is an investigation into how the firearm ended up in the elementary school student’s backpack. It was not immediately known whether anyone will face charges in the incident.

The elementary charter school, with ties to Miami rapper Pitbull and a large charter management company, opened in 2016 on the campus north of Palm Springs, Florida, and west of West Palm Beach, Florida. The school shares a building with its sister middle school, SLAM Palm Beach. 

Students have been caught with guns in Palm Beach County District schools at least 10 times this academic year, according to a Palm Beach Post analysis of court, police and school records. Only one of those incidents happened at an elementary school. The February incident occurred when a gun was found in a Cholee Lake Elementary School student’s backpack.

Somerset Academy Lakes is not a district school, meaning crime on campus is not handled by school police but by the sheriff’s office.

About one in 10 of the county’s students attend charter schools.

The full statement Duvo sent to parents is below.

Here at Somerset Lakes/SLAM, the safety and welfare of our students is always our paramount concern. We will always inform you of any concerns affecting our school community. 

This morning, before classes began, a teacher discovered there was a weapon in an early childhood student’s backpack. The student body and staff were never in any danger. Immediately upon discovering the gun, the classroom was secured, students were removed from the area, and authorities were notified. It is our understanding that the student did not intend to bring the weapon to school and had no knowledge that there was a weapon in the backpack. 

A Palm Beach County Schools official is on-site. Police are conducting a full investigation. We wanted to inform you of the incident as soon as law enforcement cleared us to do so and re-assure you again that no student was ever in any danger. We will continue to keep you informed as we have updates. For further information, please feel free to contact me at (561) 641-4449.


Reader Comments


Next Up in Nation World

Ursid meteor shower: How and when to watch the last shooting stars of the year
Ursid meteor shower: How and when to watch the last shooting stars of the year

The Christmas holidays just got a bit brighter. Don’t miss the Ursid meteor shower, expected to peak Friday and Saturday, for your final ticket to catch 2018’s shooting stars. >> Read more trending news  The meteors radiate (or originate) from a region close to the constellation Ursa Minor, also known as the Little Dipper...
Rep.-elect Dan Crenshaw reached out to Pete Davidson after concerning Instagram post
Rep.-elect Dan Crenshaw reached out to Pete Davidson after concerning Instagram post

“Saturday Night Live” comedian Pete Davidson has been surrounded by support after  he made a concerning Instagram post over the weekend. Dan Crenshaw, representative-elect for Texas’s 2nd Congressional District, is among them. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Crenshaw spoke to KPRC in Houston Monday and said he called...
What the US Air Force says to do during active shooter situations 
What the US Air Force says to do during active shooter situations 

Active shooter situations have occurred at schools, concert venues, businesses and on military installations in the past few years.  The U.S. Air Force prepares for active shooter scenarios with annual exercises and protocols. The Air Force defines an active shooter as an individual actively engaged in killing or attempting to kill people in populated...
9 totally enjoyable ways to ring in 2018 without breaking the bank
9 totally enjoyable ways to ring in 2018 without breaking the bank

New Year's Eve is the party of the year. It's a night for cocktails, splendour and celebrating with people you love. But if you're trying to avoid the typical club party (and through-the-roof costs), you're going to have to get creative. Here are nine affordable ways to ring in 2018 like a boss: Want to avoid spending lots of money on a NYE outfit?...
7 things to remember about Wright-Patt false active shooter scenario
7 things to remember about Wright-Patt false active shooter scenario

New findings about the false active shooter incident on Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in August will be released Wednesday. Col. Thomas Sherman, 88th Air Base Wing and installation commander, will brief the findings of the Incident Review Board he ordered to examine all aspects of the Aug. 2 active shooter incident that occurred at the Wright-Patt...
More Stories