Fourth-grader faces discipline after bringing toy gun, knife to school

Fourth-grader faces discipline after bringing toy gun, knife to school

BURGETTSTOWN, Pa. — A Pennsylvania fourth-grader was disciplined after bringing a knife and toy gun to his elementary school, Burgettstown School District officials told WPXI Wednesday.

Frustrated parents in the school district reached out to WPXI, saying the student brought the weapons to school this week and the district did not notify them, leading to confusion and rumors.

“(My son) said, ‘Do you know a kid had a gun?’ I said I knew about a knife yesterday, but he brought a gun the second day,” parent Mary Lynn Ilgenfritz said.

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Ilgenfritz said her son saw both the knife and toy gun in school.

“He said the kid brought him into the locker room and pulled a gun out of his book bag. It was silver and black, and he said, ‘Here, don't tell nobody,’” she said.

After inquiries from WPXI, the district's superintendent, James Walsh, emailed parents at the end of the school day Wednesday, clarifying that the items were a toy gun and a knife.

Walsh told WPXI that rumors on social media indicated the boy had a real, loaded gun, but he said that wasn't the case. He said it was an airsoft pellet gun that was not loaded.

“In hindsight, as a district, we recognize we needed to communicate to our school community information about the incident as it pertains to the safety of all students. I regret we did not do that as soon as possible,” Walsh said in a written statement.

District officials said the student has been disciplined.

Ilgenfritz said her only concern was to make sure all students in the district are safe.

“I'm not trying to get anybody in trouble. I'm trying to protect this kid’s brothers and sisters and all the other children,” she said.