LA MARQUE — A student was arrested and charged with a felony crime Wednesday morning after a loaded handgun was found in his backpack, school officials said.
The student was called into the principal’s office after another student warned administrators about the gun, Superintendent of Schools Terri Watkins said.
The principal and high school security officers took the student from class and searched his backpack, Watkins said. Officials reported finding a loaded .380-caliber semi-automatic pistol in the backpack, La Marque Police Department Sgt. Shawn Spruill said.
Once the gun was found, La Marque police were called, and the student was taken into custody. Jerome Jeray Joiner, 17, is charged with unlawfully carrying a weapon within a weapon-free zone, a state jail felony. His bond was set at $5,000.
Classes continued as normal, Watkins said. Students at the high school were taking end-of-course exams and state STAAR tests, she said
Parents were notified through a phone alert, she said.
It was unclear why the boy brought the gun to school and whether he intended to use it while on campus, Spruill said.
The student had transferred to the high school from another part of the county this semester and teachers and administrators did not know him well, Watkins said.
The response to the incident by the school staff and students was swift and went just as they have trained, Watkins said. Students are told to let teachers know if they hear of something suspicious, she said.
“It worked so beautifully, like we train the kids to do,” Watkins said.
Contact reporter Christopher Smith Gonzalez at 409-683-5314 or firstname.lastname@example.org.