Students and staff at Dye Elementary in Flint Township were on high alert yesterday as word spread that a first grader had a gun in his backpack at school.

The alert started when students told teachers that the first grader had told them he brought the gun to school.  Teachers immediately called police and the gun was confiscated from the students backpack.  Police say that the gun was not loaded and that there was no ammunition on the scene.

So far there is no clear reason why the student brought the gun, but since there were no bullets it isn't likely that the student had planned to do any harm.  Possible reasons could be to show off to their friends or as a self protection deterrent.

ABC12 reports that a letter from Carman-Ainsworth Superintendent Steven Tunnicliff, was sent home following the incident.

Dear Parents and Guardians:

Shortly after school began this morning (Monday, March 25, 2013) some students made their teacher aware that a 1st grade student at Dye Elementary had what appeared to be a small gun in their backpack.  School personnel immediately followed protocol, confiscating the backpack and notifying the Flint Township Police Department.

Within a matter of minutes, the Flint Township Police Department verified that there was a small-caliber firearm without ammunition in the backpack. The Flint Township Police Department determined that there was no immediate safety concerns for our students or staff at that point and moved forward with their investigation involving the student and their family.

Although it is disheartening to hear that a young student may have made such a significant mistake in bringing something like this to school, we are encouraged that our other students followed what they have been taught, and that the school protocols in place were followed.  After ensuring safety and completing the school's investigation, Mrs. Fields (Principal) and Ms. Grant (Counselor) met with the students in the classroom and commended them for following the school protocols while assuring them that everything was fine at that point.

Regardless of the fact that this firearm did not have any ammunition, and thus did not pose an immediate threat to any students; as a parent myself, I wanted you to be aware of this situation and to inform you of how it was handled.  In addition to this communication, the Dye Administration has attempted to communicate personally with all the families in the impacted classroom to make them aware of the situation.

Carman-Ainsworth Community Schools' first priority will always be student safety, and I am pleased that all involved (from the police) followed protocol and ensured that our students were safe and able to continue with their normal school day.  Please continue to talk with your children about the importance of telling an adult at school anytime they may see or hear of something considered to be "unsafe" in schools.