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School Officials Say Shooting Could Have Been Worse

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William Turner
GOLDSBORO — The principal at a Wayne County elementaryschool is seeking the maximum punishment for an 8-year-old who brought agun to school Monday and accidentally shot himself in the arm. The gunwent off in a classroom housing more than 20 children.

Apparently, the third-grader took the gun to class to impress his friends.It fired only once and he was the only person injured, but police and theschool want to know who owns the gun and how the child got it.

Meadow Lane Elementary Principal William Turner says it's time to evaluatesafety at the elementary level.

The incident caught school leaders off-guard. This sort of thing israre in elementary schools across North Carolina. Turner has alreadysuspended the student for 10 days and says he will recommend the schoolboard extend the suspension to one year.

Jay Memmelaar of the Goldsboro Police department says the next step isto find out where the gun came from.

If the boy is expelled for the rest of the year, he will have to findsomewhere else to attend school. The county's only alternative school isfor sixth-grade and up, so the board of education has to decide whathappens next.

Teachers and administrators say they will pay especially closeattention to children who have heard rumors of weapons on school grounds.They want to prevent a similar incident from occurring again.

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