Family alerts Hazelwood West High that student brought gun to campus

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HAZELWOOD, Mo. – For the second time in a week, a local high school student has been arrested for bringing a gun to school.

The principal of Hazelwood West High said the school was only 10 minutes into the school day when a man showed up warning that a student may have a gun on campus.

A handgun and bullets were discovered in the student’s school bag.

That warning worries parents.

“I think it’s really sad that kids have to result to bring guns to school,” said Danielle Bell, whose children attend school in the district.

It was a family member who reported the student may have a gun.

“We had a report from a gentleman who came to the school and reported that a member of his family had taken a weapon from his house and there’s a possibility it might have come to school with him with that student,” said Hazelwood West High Principal Dennis Newell.

A handgun and bullets were found in the 14-year-old student’s backpack. The school does not have metal detectors and students can enter the building through multiple doors.

“We always are evaluating are practices and safety measures,” said Kimberly McKenzie, a district spokeswoman.

The student is in the custody of juvenile authorities. Police are grateful a family member came forward to avert serious problems.

A few days ago at Ritenour High School, police said a 17-year-old brought a gun and a dozen bullets to school after being bullied. Students reported it to educators and police. Jaylen Ashby was charged with bringing a stolen gun to school.

Hazelwood police said the 14-year-old’s gun was also stolen.

In both cases, Principal Newell said people followed the adage: if you see something say something.

“I think if I see something wrong, I should say something,” said Frank Zito, a grandparent to Hazelwood students. “It’s my duty as American citizens to protect my other American citizens.”

The principal at Hazelwood said the student did not give a reason for bringing the handgun to school. District officials insist the student body was never threatened.

“We always rely on that, our students and family members, and they are always sort of the tip of the spear because they’re ones that report these things,” Principal Newell said.

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