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baltimoresun.com

Fake grenade brought to Red Pump Elementary School

BY BRYNA ZUMER, bzumer@theaegis.com

6:21 PM EST, December 20, 2012

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A grenade reported to be brought to Red Pump Elementary School on Tuesday turned out to be a novelty.

A Harford County Sheriff's deputy was sent to the school at 4:10 p.m. because the principal said a student unknowingly brought a novelty inert grenade-shaped item to school in a book bag, Eddie Hopkins, Sheriff's Office spokesman, said.

The principal was alerted by a teacher that an item was in a book bag and other students saw it as they were packing up to go home for the day, Hopkins said.

"The item was immediately recognizable as a novelty item due to the large hole in the bottom showing that the item was hollow. The item was collected and submitted at the Northern Precinct for disposal," Hopkins said. "The school will determine if any further action will be taken in reference to this matter."

Schools spokeswoman Teri Kranefeld forwarded a letter that was sent by the principal that day. 

"Good evening, this is Blaine Hawley, principal of Red Pump School. In an effort to keep you informed of situations that occur at our school, I am calling to let you know about a student who brought a toy weapon to school today.  At dismissal today, we were notified that one of our students brought what looked like a grenade to school today," the letter said.

"A student told a teacher and the grenade toy was immediately confiscated. As the toy appeared real, the sheriff's office was notified and an investigation was conducted. Although the student had no intentions of harming anyone, this is a violation of school policy and appropriate disciplinary action has been taken," the letter said. "Please help us in talking with your child about the seriousness of bringing any kind of weapon to school (toy or real). Together we can keep our Red Pump School community a safe and comfortable learning environment. If you have any questions, please feel free to call me at school."