Two students were arrested in different cases of bringing weapons to school in Nassau County Thursday, a day after an 8-year-old boy was charged with bringing a loaded handgun to his Brentwood elementary school, police said.
But educators say the incidents don't reflect a larger trend.
In a statement issued by a public relations firm, the Bellmore-Merrick Central High School District said it immediately contacted police Thursday. It did not say whether the student was suspended."The safety and welfare of our students is our highest priority." the district said.
The girl was charged with possessing a dangerous weapon, a misdemeanor, and was released on a desk appearance ticket for Family Court, Nassau police said.
At the Nassau BOCES Seaman Neck Middle School in Seaford, a 12-year-old boy was arrested after a plastic springloaded BB gun that shoots soft pellets was found in his backpack, Smith said. The boy was charged with unlawful possession of a weapon and released to the custody of his father, and scheduled to appear in Family Court, Smith said. Nassau BOCES officials are investigating.
The Brentwood child, a student at North Elementary School, was suspended pending police investigation, said Rick Belyea, a district spokesman.
The boy had brought a .25-caliber Remington loaded with five bullets in his backpack to his third-grade class that was confiscated by a teacher, police said. The boy was charged with fourth-degree criminal possession of a weapon and released to his mother's custody Wednesday. Investigators are tracing the gun's origins, said Sgt. Bob Koerber of Suffolk police.
The two back-to-back incidents are an anomaly, said Wendell Chu, president of the Suffolk County Council of School Superintendents.
"Honestly, cases like this pop up every once in a while, but in general they're very, very rare, especially at the young ages," he said. Weapons are also seldom seen in Nassau schools, said Henry Grishman, president of the Nassau County Council of School Superintendents. "The number of instances I've seen locally have been few and far in between," he said.
With Yamiche Alcindor