A 3-year-old student at the Baldwin County Early Learning Center was found to have brought a gun to school in their backpack Thursday morning, a letter from the school states.
A teacher checked the backpack before the student entered the classroom and discovered the weapon inside. Deputies with the Baldwin County Sheriff's Office investigated and found that the gun was loaded.
"At no time was the weapon out of the possession of an adult nor did any student see the weapon," the letter sent to parents reads. "The student was unaware there was anything different in the bookbag. The staff responded swiftly and appropriately to resolve this situation."
The remainder of the school day at the Early Learning Center continued as normal.
School Superintendent Dr. Noris Price did an all-call to parents with kids attending Baldwin County Schools Thursday afternoon to notify them about what happened at the Early Learning Center. In the recorded message she encouraged parents to check their kids' backpacks each morning before sending them to school.
Thursday's incident showed some similarities to what occurred in Baldwin County Schools in late 2017 into early 2018. In about three months' time three students brought guns into three separate school buildings - Midway Hills Academy, Lakeview Academy and Oak Hill Middle School. When it occurred at Lakeview Academy, the gun actually went off inside the building, but did not harm anyone. Last December a Midway Hills Academy student brought an unloaded BB gun into school.
The Baldwin County School District began taking action after the first incident back in 2017, eventually implementing metal detectors at both the middle and high schools. Detectors were discussed for the elementary level, but the only change made there was to force students to bring clear or mesh backpacks to school.