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Police: Jacksonville High student steals gun from teacher

By David Harten

This article was originally published January 17, 2012 at 11:35 a.m. Updated January 17, 2012 at 3:24 p.m.

— Police have released the name of the Jacksonville High School teacher who was involved in the Tuesday morning incident that got her and a student arrested.

According to a release sent out by the Jacksonville Police Department, 55-year-old Jennifer Ellen Paul was arrested on charges of Possession of a Handgun on School Property, a Class D felony, after a student stole the gun out of her purse while school was in session. The student was also arrested and taken in for questioning. No word on the status of the student at this time.

In the report, Paul stated she has a concealed carry license, but forgot to take the gun out of her purse before coming to class.

Students in the classroom witnessed another student steal the handgun out of the teacher’s purse and conceal it in his waistband. The juvenile was arrested without incident, his charges include theft, and minor in possession of a handgun on school property, the student has been turned over to the Juvenile Justice Center.

Pulaski County Special School District spokesman Deborah Roush said that per standard procedure, the teacher will be suspended with pay until both the internal and criminal investigations conclude.

There was no word yet on what prompted the student to take the gun from the teacher. The investigation is ongoing and officials will provide information as it becomes available.

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Displaying 1 - 3 of 3 total comments

tawcat says... January 17, 2012 at 2:24 p.m.

I find it most difficult for a person "to forget" they have a gun. If a person is that oblivious to the fact they are carrying a deadly weapon, I suggest they never carry one again.

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TheBatt says... December 6, 2012 at 12:09 p.m.

I'm late to this story, as I only recently figured out that this is the wife of someone I know...

When one doesn't regularly carry a handgun, but then under circumstances outside the norm, her husband encourages her to put it in her purse as she goes out alone late Sunday evening to run some errands.

Monday was MLK day - she didn't even go out, so didn't think about it.

Tuesday rolls around and she heads to work at the school, not thinking about the gun in her purse. Thugs decide that is the day that they are going to sneak/break into that teacher's room and steal her purse (for money). Instead - they find the handgun, so they return the purse, minus the gun... and the rest is history.

So I can totally understand how someone can "forget" they have a gun. As a former school teacher in a rural district, more than once, a kid would come by my office and confide in me that they had forgotten to take a box of rifle shells out of their coat. Or another who went to the principal when they got to school asking for permission to run back home because they forgot to take their deer rifle or shotgun out of their truck after a weekend of hunting.

It happens.

What about the other side of the story? What were these students doing? They were stealing - had the gun not been there, it would have been the teacher's money, credit cards, cell phone, etc. Where is the outrage that this (these, there were more involved than the one in the story) student may only face suspension - for being a thief.

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