BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - A 7th grader at Westdale Middle School is facing charges after reportedly being found with an unloaded gun in their backpack.
The East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff’s Office says its School Drug Task Force responded to Westdale Middle on Claycut Road around 11 a.m. on Monday, Sept. 9 about the gun being found in a student’s backpack.
EBRSO says an anonymous student told a school administrator that the student in question had a gun. The administrator was able to find the gun inside a 14-year-old student’s backpack. The student reportedly claimed the gun belong to another 13-year-old student. The second student claimed he took it from home sometime the week prior and that when he showed it to the 14-year-old, he threatened a third student, who has not been charged, to not tell anyone about the gun.
EBRSO says the gun had no ammo or magazine when found by the administrator.
The 14-year-old is being charged with illegally carrying a firearm on school property and firearm free zone. The 13-year-old is being charged with illegally carrying a firearm on school property, firearm free zone, and aggravated assault.
“This case is a prime example of how important it is that students come forward if they are aware of a weapon at school. Having that kind of information along with our School Resource Officers and School Drug Task Force made all the difference in preventing anything more serious,” said Sheriff Sid Gautreaux.
The school system provided the following statement about the incident:
"The East Baton Rouge Parish School System was notified today that a Westdale Middle School student was found in possession of an unloaded weapon. A student reported it to school administrators, who immediately took action and involved law enforcement. We have a zero-tolerance policy for this type of behavior and any student who violates that policy will be recommended for expulsion and may face additional charges from law enforcement.
Please help us educate your children about the dangers and severe consequences of bringing any type of weapon on school grounds. All such incidents are taken extremely seriously. The safety of our students and faculty remains our top priority."
Any students or staff with information about this incident, or similar incidents, are asked to tell a school administrator, call EBRSO at 225-389-5000, or call Crime Stoppers at 225-344-7867.