Girl accused of taking gun to school

Arundel 15-year-old faces weapons charges

March 13, 2004|By Laura Loh | Laura Loh,SUN STAFF

A 15-year-old Anne Arundel County girl was charged with weapons violations this week for allegedly taking a .22-caliber handgun to Southern High School, authorities said yesterday.

The Rose Haven teen-ager is accused of showing the gun, wrapped in a dish towel in her purse, to several students during school Tuesday, said Lt. Joseph Jordan, a county police spokesman. A Southern High student who saw the gun told his parents, who notified the school.

When police questioned the 15-year-old at her parents' home that day, she denied having taken a gun to school. But her father voluntarily gave police an unloaded revolver of his, wrapped in a cloth similar to the one described by witnesses, Jordan said.

Witnesses also said the teen-ager, who has been removed from the school, showed them a list of seven students she intended to harm. One student also reported seeing three bullets in the girl's purse.

The 15-year-old denied having such a list, and police have not found one.

Police said the teen-ager admitted to them Wednesday that she had taken the gun to school. She was charged as a juvenile with four misdemeanors: concealing a deadly weapon, having a deadly weapon on school property, having a handgun on her person, and being a minor in possession of a handgun.

The student will not return to school, officials said, until the school system has fully investigated the incident. Under school policy, she could face a range of penalties, including expulsion.

Acting Principal Carol Thornburg said she met yesterday with the parents of seven students "central to the police investigation ... to reassure them that the school is safe."

The principal said school staff members held classroom sessions this week on school violence and sent home a letter asking parents to urge their children to report any such activity.

This is the second time this school year that an Anne Arundel County student has been charged with taking a gun on campus. In December, 16-year-old Aaron Davis was charged as an adult for firing a gun in an empty hallway at Old Mill High School. No one was injured.

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