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5-year-old expelled for bringing gun to class

March 28, 2006
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5-year-old expelled for bringing gun to class

FIRCREST, Washington (AP) -- A kindergarten student was expelled for 10 days after he brought a .22-caliber gun to school, officials said.

The 5-year-old boy climbed from a chair onto a washer-dryer and got an unloaded pistol out of a cupboard at home, police said. He showed a friend the gun on the Whittier Elementary School playground, then put it into a friend's backpack, Police Chief John Cheesman said.

The boy never made any threat and told the principal what he had done Monday but was expelled immediately, said Patti Holmgren, a spokeswoman for the Tacoma school system. Police confiscated the gun.

School officials were investigating, classmates have been reminded not to bring guns to school and a letter on the incident has been sent to parents of Whittier students, Holmgren said.

The boy's parents tried to keep the gun out of his reach and did not store ammunition with it, so no criminal charges are likely, the police chief said.

"The boy now realizes he should not have brought the pistol to school," Cheesman added. "There was an understanding there that he shouldn't have done it and that what he did was wrong."

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