An elementary school student in Chicago charged with a felony Monday after he was allegedly found with an unloaded gun in his backpack claims he carried the weapon because of bullying.
School security reportedly found the weapon on the 12-year-old at about 11 a.m. during a search of the student's bag at Schmid Elementary School, on the 9700 block of South Greenwood Avenue.
Police said the student was processed at the District 5 police station, charged with unlawful use of a weapon, and turned over to his parents. Officials said the weapon was an unloaded .38 Special with a 2.5 inch barrel. It had a five-shot capacity and a defaced serial number.
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Parents were shocked to hear about the incident.
"For a kid to feel he was bullied that much to bring a gun is shocking," parent Tamika Jean said.
"How hard is this fear that you need to resort to a gun other than your fist?" parent Bridgette Villanueva said.
School officials sent a note home to parents informing them about the incident and issued a statement saying an "investigation was initiated immediately following the student's allegations of bullying."
"The school has a big no-bullying policy. They have assemblies about bullying for the kids," Jean said.
Police declined to comment as to whether the claim of bullying would be investigated.