GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (GRPS) — Grand Rapids Public Schools staff confiscated a gun from a third grade student at Stocking Elementary School late this morning.

This situation came to light after a scholar at the school notified GRPS staff that a student may be in possession of a gun. The staff at Stocking and the GRPS Public Safety team took immediate action and found that a student had a loaded handgun in their backpack.

Grand Rapids Police responded and took possession of the weapon. The student involved is no longer at the school and this matter is being addressed according to district policy and the law.

“This is as serious as it gets for a school leader. I’m deeply concerned, frustrated, and angry that in less than a week’s time we have confiscated two guns from elementary school children. This is not okay with me and it is not okay with our community,” Grand Rapids Public School Superintendent Leadriane Roby, Ph.D. said. “We have to come together to do something about guns getting into the hands of our babies. We will be a part of the solution. We are taking action as a district and we are pleading with each member of this community for your support.”

This is the fourth gun confiscated from a student in one of the district’s schools this academic year. Grand Rapids Public Schools Chief of Staff & Executive Director of Public Safety said he’s never confiscated this many real guns in a single school year.

“We are doing everything in our power to ensure our scholars are safe and these incidents are forcing us to do more. For our scholars to learn, they must feel safe and it is our job to protect them to the best of our abilities,” Johnson said. “We need the issue of guns in the hands of children to garner the support of every person who cares about children in this community.”

District leaders are convening about changes in school safety protocol. More information will be shared soon with the community.