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A 15-year-old student brought a handgun to a Little Rock charter school on Monday, according to a police report.

The ninth grader took the unloaded handgun to eSTEM Downtown Junior High. Police responded to the incident at approximately 11:40 a.m., the report states.

John Bacon, chief executive officer of eSTEM Public Charter Schools, Inc., said an eSTEM student reported to a physical education teacher Monday morning that another student had a gun in his possession.

The teacher notified the school office, Bacon said. The principal and the dean of students took the student out of class and to the office. The student had what Bacon described as "small handgun, that was unloaded, actually in his pants." Little Rock police were called and they took the ninth grader to the station.

During questioning, the student said “it was not his firearm, he was holding it for someone else,” according to the report. The student’s mother was present during questioning.

Officials transported the student to juvenile detention and charged him with possession of a firearm by a minor or possession of a firearm on school property, according to the report.

Jarrod DuPriest, school principal, emailed an early afternoon message to his staff and to parents of students at the school, telling of the incident.

"This is an unusual occurrence at eStem as we have not encountered this in the eleven years we have been open," DuPriest wrote. "Thankfully, we have the necessary systems in place to address these types of incidents, and they have proven to be successful today."

The junior high school at 123 W. Third St. is one of two junior highs in the eSTEM Public Charter Schools system.

Cynthia Howell contributed to this story.


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  • MaxCady
    February 11, 2019 at 7:30 p.m.

    In the Little Rock public schools if you don't have a gun they give you one at the door.