A first-year elementary school teacher in Florida was arrested Monday for having a firearm on a school campus.
Paige Ehlers, 27, was arrested by the Levy County Sheriff’s Office School Resource Deputy after two fourth-grade students at Chiefland Elementary School discovered a gun in her car during school hours after she had sent them to get her medication for her, according to press release from Levy County Sheriff’s Office Lt. Scott Tummond.
When the elementary school students, aged 9 and 10, told school officials about their discovery in Ehlers’ vehicle, they then informed the resource deputy.
Ehlers was charged with possession of a firearm on school grounds, which is against the law in Florida and also school board policy, the sheriff’s office said. She was also charged with child endangerment.
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“While it is extremely disheartening to ever arrest a teacher, this type of violation that endangers the safety of our students cannot be tolerated,” said Sheriff Bobby McCallum in a statement Monday. “Thankfully these fourth grade students had parents that taught them about gun safety, and but for that reason we may have avoided a dangerous and sad situation today.”
Ehlers’ bond was slated to be assigned during her first appearance in court Tuesday.
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The School Board of Levy County said that Ehlers has been placed on administrative leave since her arrest.
“A first-year teacher at Chiefland Elementary School was placed on administrative leave today after a loaded handgun was discovered in her personal vehicle parked in the faculty lot,” the school board said in a Facebook post. “This is a violation of Board policy and Florida statutes. The Levy County Sheriff’s Office is investigating the matter, we take these incidents very seriously and will fully cooperate with the investigation.”
“The safety and wellbeing of our students and faculty is of paramount importance,” the school board added.