An incident involving a gun found on campus Tuesday at San Francisco’s Phillip & Sala Burton Academic High School shook up both parents and students – many who didn’t even learn of the incident until two days later.
Parents say they’re disappointed that the school didn’t inform them of the events until Thursday.
San Francisco police say they responded to the campus Tuesday at about 1:30pm. Investigators say a staff member noticed an unattended backpack inside the school’s wellness center and inside found a loaded, sawed-off shotgun, along with additional ammunition.
“Officers responded where they were met by the head of the counseling department, as well as one of the deans of students there,” said San Francisco Police Department Captain Robert O’Sullivan. “They were shown the rifle. There was a student that subsequently arrived at the office and later admitted to having brought the rifle to school.”
Police said there was no indication the student planned to shoot the gun on campus.
“At this time we believe he had brought it for his own protection,” said O’Sullivan. “He was very calm. That’s how I would characterize him, he was a bit stoic but in no way was he upset or angry.”
The student was arrested and booked into the County Juvenile Justice Center on multiple weapons-related charges.
Police say the school did not need to be locked down because the weapon had been confiscated.
“We do have a protocol, every school in the San Francisco Unified School District has its own set of protocols in terms of lockdown in an incident should shots be fired in the general vicinity of a school,” said O’Sullivan.
A letter posted Thursday to Burton High’s website says “no other students” were involved and that student safety is a “top priority.”
School district officials did not return KTVU’s calls, but the school’s principal said administrators spent Thursday calling and emailing parents about the incident.
Several students and parents told KTVU they were shocked to find out about the shotgun two days after it was found.
“By the time I’d found out about it, it was this morning,” said Burton High School student Madison Jczyk. “So no one told anyone about it.”
Parent, April Buckins said she is angry. “Two days later, you get a voicemail and I’m like driving, and I’m like, what? And I’m just now hearing about it? Wow- do you realize what could’ve happened?”
O’Sullivan told KTVU that in his three years as Captain in charge of the Police Department’s Bayview Station, there has not been another incident of a gun found on the Burton campus.
Investigators say they have interviewed the teen’s parent and are doing a weapons check to trace the gun.