Loaded gun recovered at Excel Academy in West Baltimore

For the second time in a week, a student was arrested for bringing a loaded handgun to a Baltimore high school.

An Excel Academy student was arrested Wednesday after a staff member discovered the student had a gun as they were entering the West Baltimore building, city schools spokeswoman Edie House-Foster said in a statement. Staff restrained the student, who was then taken into custody by school police and transported to Central Booking.

“This matter was swiftly under control without incident,” House-Foster said.

It’s the third time this school year that a loaded gun has been confiscated from a Baltimore city student at school.

Last Thursday, a loaded gun was recovered at Carver Vocational-Technical High School after school police received an anonymous tip. And in September, an officer caught a student trying to enter Achievement Academy with a loaded gun.

No one was injured in either incident.

The number of gun-related incidents in Baltimore schools so far this year shows that “we have to get serious about gun possession, especially with our students,” said Sgt. Clyde Boatwright, president of the city school police union.

Wednesday’s incident comes the day after two students were killed and another 18 people injured in a school shooting in Kentucky.

Baltimore school police cannot be armed while stationed inside schools during the day. The question of whether to allow the force to carry guns stirred heated debate in recent years. Some say arming school police creates a prison-like atmosphere in schools while others argue that, without guns, officers aren’t able to effectively protect students and themselves.

“Every day, we roll the dice of having a situation like Kentucky or Columbine or Newtown,” Boatwright said. “These students are bringing real guns with real bullets.”

trichman@baltsun.com

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