DEWITT, Ky. — Two students brought guns on their school bus here last week, and the bus driver is among those facing charges in the incident.
On the morning of April 30, an elementary school principal notified Kentucky State Police that a 6-year-old and a 7-year-old brought two handguns from their home onto the bus in their backpacks. Police said that the brothers showed the weapons — one of which was loaded — to other students while riding the bus.
When the bus arrived at school, another student told a teacher about the guns. The school went on lockdown, and school staff retrieved the weapons and contacted Kentucky State Police.
Kelly Sprinkles, superintendent of Knox County Public Schools, wrote in a letter to parents that, “At no time do we feel that students were in danger.”
The two brothers have been charged with possession of a firearm on school property. But the boys aren’t the only ones under scrutiny for the incident.
WKYT reports that school bus driver Charles Honce was charged with facilitation to unlawfully possess a weapon on school property. State police said that students on the bus told Honce that a passenger had a gun, but Honce allegedly did not report it or stop to check.
According to WKYT, Honce entered a plea of not guilty on Monday. The brothers’ parents have also been charged with endangering the welfare of a minor.
A Kentucky State Police spokesperson told WKYT that the boys apparently thought the guns were toys and did not intend to harm anyone.
Sprinkles, the district superintendent, pointed out a lesson that can be learned from the incident.
“Please discuss this incident with your child and emphasize that it is against the law to bring weapons of any type to school,” Sprinkles wrote in her letter to parents. “We encourage our parents to regularly check backpacks to ensure that such items are kept at home and are not accidentally transported to school.”