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School security guard in Michigan leaves gun in bathroom, officials say

Officials say a recently hired security officer left a firearm unattended in a Michigan charter school bathroom, local media reported.

School officials at The Chatfield School in Lapeer, Mich., told mlive.com the officer left an unloaded weapon in a restroom "for a few moments" on Monday. No children were put in danger or exposed to the handgun, school director Matt Young told mlive.com.


In a Jan. 7 newsletter, the school told families it had hired the school security officer, a veteran of the Lapeer County Sheriff Department who had retired.

"After the recent events in Connecticut, it is prudent to review and to revise our plan and procedures," the letter said.

School safety has been on the minds of educators across America since the Dec. 14 shooting at a Newtown, Conn. elementary school, in which 20 children and six staffers were killed. In response to the Newtown tragedy, the National Rifle Association called for armed guards in every school amid criticism and calls for stricter gun control.

A county prosecutor told mlive.com that criminal charges were not likely.

Chatfield parent Tris Fritz told mlive.com that the incident was "a big mistake": "I think that some kid might not think it's a real gun. They might think it's a toy. They're going to be curious, that's the nature of a child."

Another school parent, Cindy Fliedner, told mlive.com the incident didn't change her view on having an officer and was "thrilled" the school is taking "steps to protect our children."

"We're just going to have to refine our procedures," Fliedner told mlive.com.

In addition to the new security hire, the newsletter said that the school had implemented new sign-in/sign-out policies for parents and visitors, was locking most school doors and added security monitors, among other initiatives.

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