2003-12-05 / Front Page

Principal: Kids Kept Gun Hush-Hush

By Brian Magoolaghan
Principal: Kids Kept Gun Hush-Hush By Brian Magoolaghan

Although police said the 12-year-old boy who brought a loaded gun to M.S. 180 on Monday showed it off and threatened several students with it, the school’s principal told parents no one came forward to report the dangerous situation.

Early reports about the incident credited a student with alerting Principal George Giberti, but in a letter to parents released on Wednesday he said, "the student/s who saw the alleged firearm never came forward to inform any of the teachers, guidance, deans or administrators."

Giberti’s letter didn’t say how school officials became aware that the boy, a sixth-grader, had the weapon, and a school spokesperson declined to comment. Meanwhile, police said they are investigating the boy’s claim that he got the gun from a Brooklyn relative during the Thanksgiving break.

Police said the youngster laid down the weapon, without hurting anyone, when Giberti confronted him. A search of the boy’s clothes revealed that he had at least one more bullet in his possession when he was arrested, they said.

The boy was charged with criminal weapons possession and three counts of menacing, according to a law enforcement source.

Members of the school’s guidance department counseled the "children most immediately affected" following the incident, according to Giberti’s letter.

"It is critical that every parent remind his or her child to immediately report any situation to his or her teacher, counselor, dean, Assistant Principal or myself that might be a serious cause for concern," Giberti’s letter said.

The letter also stated that Region Five Superintendent Dr. Kathleen Cashin sent a safety team to the school, which has no metal detectors.

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