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Second Schools Gun Incident Prompts Additional Police Presence

A 13-year-old boy is accused of bringing a gun into Stemmers Run Middle School in Essex, and threatening his classmates and teacher.

Baltimore County schools will have additional police after a at a county school in just over two weeks.

County Executive Kevin Kamenetz said effective immediately, all Baltimore County public schools will receive an increased police presence. School resource officers will also be equipped with handheld metal detector scanners.

The decision on whether schools need permanent metal detectors will be made after a "comprehensive analysis" by the school system, Kamenetz said.

"We have to be proactive in our response to these incidents and we will," Kamenetz said.

The announcement Tuesday afternoon came hours after a teacher disarmed a student who was later arrested for allegedly bringing a gun into in Essex.

A brought a .25 caliber semi-automatic handgun and threatened his teacher and classmates, said police Chief Jim Johnson.

Toward the end of his first period class, around 9:50 a.m., the boy allegedly pointed the weapon at his teacher, then his classmates and then himself, said Johnson.

"The weapon is small enough to fit in the palm of your hand," Johnson said.

The teacher grappled with the student, disarmed him and radioed a school resource officer for assistance as other students fled. The officer took the boy into custody, Johnson said.

"[This was] another case where a Baltimore County educator acted heroically," Johnson said.

The police chief added that the gun was loaded with one round and the student, who rode the bus to school, also had a six to seven inch hunting knife.

Stemmers Run Middle School was on lock down while police conducted a limited search. Investigators are now looking to determine how the student came to possess the weapons.

Because the boy was charged as a juvenile, Johnson said "we're greatly restricted in the information that we can release."

Despite the incident, Stemmers Run Middle School remained open for the remainder of Tuesday's classes.

Superintendent S. Dallas Dance said "instruction did not need to be impacted for the day." He added that the school system crisis team is attending to the affected class and teacher.

Parents of students in the class were notified about the incident through personal phone calls from staff. The school community at large was notified through a letter and the school system emergency alert service, Dance said.

"We've gotten word from several parents—they appreciate the communication," Dance said.

, Stemmers Run Middle School parent Debbie Jones criticized school officials for withholding information until an afternoon press conference.

"We're the parents, and you're asking us to leave our children here? Telling us to wait until a press conference. Why does the press need to know before us parents who are here? I think this was a horrible way of handling this," Jones said Tuesday morning.

She was one of several parents who on Tuesday.

Many parents on the scene drew parallels to the recent student shooting at Perry Hall High School on Aug. 27. The two schools are located about nine miles apart, both in the Baltimore County school system.

"I'm scared. It was just a few weeks ago that this happened at Perry Hall, and now this," Jones added.

Senior Local Editor Emily Kimball contributed to this report.

Tonya September 11, 2012 at 09:10 PM
What the hell is wrong with our parents today, allowing this crap to happen?
parent September 11, 2012 at 09:26 PM
Now police will be in schools doing what parents should be doing instead of out in the streets. What the heck needs to happen to give these kids a chance. Parents stop having kids if your unable or not willing to lead them to be the best they can. DISGUSTING!
robert l taylor September 11, 2012 at 09:51 PM
most of these kids any more are no more than a check every month for a drug infested parent charge the parent not the child
Buck Harmon September 11, 2012 at 10:43 PM
Ass backward thinking Kamenetz...metal detectors are a joke and creating a police state because of a couple of troubled kids is literally a cop out. You can throw all the cops on the force at this and there will still be a few problems every year. Pull your head out and lead for a change that will make a difference.
cat September 11, 2012 at 10:55 PM
Install a "No Packpack" rule, or clear packpacks only.
Other Tim September 11, 2012 at 11:09 PM
Troubled people will always find a way to lash out. Put all the metal detectors you want up in schools. Kids will use utensils from the cafeteria. Make them eat with their hands, and they will use pens and pencils. If you cannot stop violence and murder with weapons in the most secure prisons in America, how on earth do you think you can stop it in schools? I Don't know how you stop it, but metal detectors and more police in the schools is not the answer. We spend too much time and money on the touchy-feely cures, not enough on real cures.
Buck Harmon September 11, 2012 at 11:18 PM
The reason that things have come to this point in society is what needs to be addressed, not more cops or metal detectors. Those are loser solutions that will never address the issues. Why was it not this bad 5 0r 10 years ago? What has changed?
Evets September 11, 2012 at 11:25 PM
That is an idea, but the gun in this case is about the size of a smart phone. Easily carried in a pocket.
fred September 12, 2012 at 01:45 AM
it was like this 5 or 10 years ago, its just that when it happens in another part of the country its not notice as much as when it is local.
Sue C September 12, 2012 at 02:08 AM
Maybe the public will start to acknowledge that too many kids are damaged before they even enter the doors of the schoolhouse and give us the funds and means to help them. Thank God we have teachers like Mr. Wassmer et al and the female teacher from Stemmers Run that once again put their personal safety and well being aside for the good of the children in the schoolhouse.
Dragonfly September 12, 2012 at 10:16 AM
I think that it should be as difficult to have a child as it is to adopt a child. I know I am talking about a perfect world, but if "parents" had to go through some type of process to prove they are capable. Other tim, I agree we are much too touchy- feely.
Sam Battle September 12, 2012 at 10:20 AM
Oh heck i wonder where the School Police Ofc. was at during both of these cases in baltimore county... we are paying i am sure hundred of thousands of dollars to have these school officers and still have these type of cases andworseyet iswe are haing more than ever ??? How about spending less on the useless S.O.R List and use someof that money to beef up school security and protect our kids against each other.
fred September 12, 2012 at 12:00 PM
good idea, tell us how that can be implemented?
fred September 12, 2012 at 12:02 PM
a question to the schools and police, are each and every person entering the school going to be searched?( students, teachers, visitors)
Buck Harmon September 12, 2012 at 12:14 PM
What needs to happen is our perceived leaders need to quit making knee jerk decisions...like ..lets add one more police officer to every Baltimore County school...what a lame, and expensive stunt that will never make a difference. If Kamenetz would urinate into a stiff breeze he'd get the same result...
Sean Colin September 12, 2012 at 12:39 PM
To Other Tim, I agree this is a knee jerk reaction, but so are the speed cameras that you defend over and over, they are touchy feely and yet to be proven effective. If you really wanted to slow people down, then engineer solutions, not just photograph infractions. So at least the speed cameras have freed up the police to do stuff like this, isn't that what we were told the cameras would do?
Buck Harmon September 12, 2012 at 01:11 PM
The reason that these incidents seem worse is because of the instant media attention that was not around 10 years ago....same problem, only sensationalized by the media instantly....this is what today's youth experience that those in the past did not. While I guess instant news might be good in weather related issues, I'm not really sure that it doesn't contribute in some way to current events..
Stacey Schantz September 12, 2012 at 01:51 PM
As a parent, you should feel that putting your child on a school bus and sending them to school is a safe place. But with these incidents you can't help but feel concern. Gun laws need to be enforced. I am not a fan of guns in a house with children. Why you need a gun when you have children living in or visiting your home will never be something that I understand. That being said, the black market for guns, and the actual process for obtaining a gun needs to be revisited by law enforcement. Locks need to be mandatory, maybe instill a gun registry system that every household with a gun needs to have it registered and periodically checked to ensure it is safely stored. Maybe the right to bare arms in general needs to be revisited. A 13-year-old should not have access to a gun or hunting knives or anything like that. A real question is why did he need this? Why didn't his parents provide support to help him understand that playing with guns is wrong and can hurt someone, why was he bringing these weapons to school in the first place. Parents need to be in control, take responsibility for their child's actions. I'm glad they've charged the grandfather. Something needs to be done to address this, and anti-bullying campaigns need to be stepped up so that kids don't feel they need to take a weapon to school to defend themselves. It's a horrible, scary world we live in. How do we protect our kids and make the world a better place to grow up?
fred September 12, 2012 at 03:56 PM
locks already are mandatory and legal guns already are registered. as for someone checking upon you after a legal purchase, that is absolutely unacceptable.
Steve September 12, 2012 at 04:27 PM
Unfortunately, it's never going to happen in this country Stacey. There are too many Elmer Fudds in this country.
moe green September 12, 2012 at 07:55 PM
it is called the second amendment, not the second suggestion. do take away my constitutional rights because some parents do not want to raise their children
Matt September 12, 2012 at 09:33 PM
Yes,let's blame the officers, because one or two officers can surely cover an entire school building at all times. Get a grip, and a clue while you're at it.
Katie September 13, 2012 at 12:29 AM
I went to Stemmers 30+ years ago and it was a cess pool then and it's a cess pool now. We had fights, knives, brass knuckles, and the occassional gun. It never has been a high quality school unfortunately.
Tim September 13, 2012 at 12:40 AM
What Fred suggests wouldn't surprise me. The 24 hour news cycle is a fairly new development. Like, 10 years? All of us 30+ year old lived a blissfully naive childhood, compared to kids today.
Katie September 13, 2012 at 01:40 AM
Unfortunately liberals believe that government needs to be a condom to protect you from all ills. Hate to tell you this, Steve, but bad things happen to good people, you can't monitor your children every second of the day, and government is NOT here to help you. Being an Elmer Fudd kept me and my family from being killed in a home invasion. But liberals like you would rather see me dead than have my guns.
Katie September 13, 2012 at 01:43 AM
Kids don't need a reason to do something stupid. Read that a lot of times because it's true. You're not a parent obviously and, if you are, your kids are likely running around with a clueless parent like this kid. The entire world cannot be child proofed. Kids were fighting in schools, bringing knives, brass knuckles, guns - why, since before I was born and I am a dinosaur compared to you. Bullying? Really? Kids don't need to be bullied to take a weapon to school. We have raised generations of marshmallows and you prove my point.

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