A school district in Ohio is coming under fire this week after a pair of first graders attending Highland Elementary School in South Bloomfield Township gained access to an unlocked case containing a firearm that was meant to protect the students from a mass shooter, The Columbus Dispatch reported Friday.
According to the newspaper, the incident took place at a district transportation office in mid-March, but only recently came to light.
Transportation director Vicky Nelson, who was trained as part of the district’s concealed carry program and allowed to have a gun on school grounds, left her grandson and the daughter of a co-worker, who were both first graders, unattended in her office when she went to the restroom.
While she was in the restroom, the mother of one of the first graders, district assistant transportation director Christine Scaffidi, entered the office to find the firearm on top of the desk while the children were still alone in the room.
“I’m assuming that the child picked up the gun from behind the desk and had been holding it,” Superintendent Dan Freund told the newspaper.
A firearms trainer with a local sheriff’s office who helped train teachers and administrators involved with the program told the paper that “what happened there was not consistent with the training provided, the policies and procedures or the conditions of being on the [concealed carry] team.”
“That’s a big no-no. It’s inexcusable,” he continued.
Following the incident, Nelson was reportedly removed from the school’s concealed carry program and was placed on a brief suspension.