Safety Protocols Questioned After Student Allegedly Brought Gun to West Chicago School

While emails were sent to parents about the discovery, some question why a soft lockdown wasn't implemented

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Parents at a suburban school district are voicing concerns about the notification process for safety issues after a student allegedly brought a gun to West Chicago Community High School earlier this week.

On Thursday, administrators learned a 17-year-old male student was in possession of a Ruger 9mm handgun at school, leading police to take the unidentified student into custody, according to a news release from the DuPage County State's Attorney's Office.

The student was charged with felony unlawful use of a weapon - possession in school, a felony count of aggravated unlawful use of a weapon and unlawful possession of a firearm.

A notice about the incident was sent to parents and posted on the school district's website. However, the school did not implement a soft lockdown - a decision some parents and others find concerning.

Lana Abundez, a parent of two students at the school, says she didn't learn about the incident under 3:15 p.m. - after classes were dismissed.

"They should have informed us a lot sooner, the administrators," she said.

Dayanne Romero, who has three cousins at the school, also disagreed with when families were notified.

"They did it after school, which is absurd," she stated. "I called them [cousins] individually to let them know if they were ok, any needed help."

In an email, Becky Klotz, a spokesperson for Community High School District 94 told NBC 5 the student was quickly located, the weapon was recovered, and the student was immediately taken into custody.

"...Information provided indicated that at no time did the student possessing the weapon approach or threaten any student, staff member, or visitor in the school, and local law enforcement has determined that there was no active threat to the school or the community," she added, in part.

Two emails about what occurred were sent to families following the incident, but it wasn't immediately clear when school district officials distributed the messages.

Under school district policy, possession of a weapon on school property will result in immediate out-of-school suspension and a recommendation of expulsion for at least one year.

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