St. Paul student in custody for having gun at school - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

St. Paul student in custody for having gun at school

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 by Isa Baza

Guam - Student safety at schools has been a growing concern for parents and school officials around the nation. While incidents involving firearms have happened at schools around the nation, most don't expect things such as these to happen here at home.

The incident happened at 11:45 Wednesday morning. A student came forward and reported that another student at St. Paul Christian School had brought a gun to school. As soon as school officials were notified of the situation, they called the student in question into the Principal's Office. They confiscated and searched the student's possessions at which point they found a firearm in his bag. The Guam Police Department was then called to the Harmon campus.

Police spokesperson Officer AJ Balajadia said, "We received a call of a student with a weapon a .25-caliber weapon at St. Paul's on Wednesday. The minor was released to his parents on Wednesday and Juvenile Investigations with Patrol followed up on that case."

On Thursday the minor was taken into custody and remanded to the Department of Youth Affairs. School officials, however, did not notify parents about the incident until 10:45 late Thursday evening. St. Paul academic administrator Manny Inciong said the reason parents were notified so late was because St. Paul's wanted to get the facts straight before disseminating information so as to not compromise an ongoing investigation or violate the family educational rights and privacy act. Parents, however, were still very concerned that they were not notified.

"The investigation is closed, the weapon was not loaded, and from what I understand, there was no threats made toward any staff or students at the school," he said.

But where did the student get the gun? "It was mentioned and that's part of the investigation and that will come out in court, or when he's represented by legal counsel," he said.

While Balajadia could not release further details, he did say that there has been no indication that the Michael Robert Webber Firearms Liability Act of 1990 was violated.  The act creates liability for firearm offenses involving minors, making it a crime for adults to leave a firearm unsecured or without a locked cabinet or closet, or without a trigger lock in place. Inciong emphasized that student safety is paramount at St. Paul's, and that they are reviewing the incident and procedures to ensure better student safety in the future. 
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