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Valley News Dispatch

New Ken-Arnold girl, 12, sent home from school after weapon found in backpack

Chuck Biedka
| Wednesday, Jan. 31, 2018, 6:45 p.m.
Roy A. Hunt Elementary School, Oct. 2013
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Roy A. Hunt Elementary School, Oct. 2013

A 12-year-old girl was sent home with a parent after a weapon was found inside her bookbag Wednesday morning at the Roy A. Hunt Elementary School, police and New Kensington-Arnold School District officials confirmed.

District Superintendent John Pallone said the weapon, which he declined to describe because of privacy policies, was found during a routine search involving a walk-through metal detector and security officer.

The elementary school is along the 1700 block of Alcoa Drive in Arnold.

“An inappropriate item was found and appropriate action was taken,” Pallone said.

“No one was hurt, and no one was in a hazardous situation,” he said.

When the item was found, police were called, which Pallone said is in keeping with school procedures.

Arnold police Chief Eric Doutt said an item that he would not describe was found and the student was taken to the assistant principal.

The girl said it wasn't her bookbag, Doutt said. Police are investigating.

“She was suspended and taken home by her mother,” Doutt said.

Hunt Elementary School has had metal detectors for several years, since the time it was used as a middle school. It became an elementary building for the start of the 2014-15 school year.

2 previous finds

Last Thursday, two days after a 6-year-old bragged about bringing a small knife to school, the school board voted 8-0 to spend $4,000 to install metal detectors at two other elementary schools. The detectors will be installed at Martin Elementary School in New Kensington, where the boy said he had a small folding knife but didn't show it to anyone, and H.D. Berkey Elementary.

In December, district officials announced what they would only describe as an “unexpected event” Dec. 14 at H.D. Berkey.

The district said only that a student was involved and police were investigating.

Some parents insisted that incident involved a loaded handgun found in a student's backpack.

Chuck Biedka is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at 724-226-4711, cbiedka@tribweb.com or via Twitter @ChuckBiedka.

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