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Chesterfield students, parents miffed about no gun arrest notification

Posted at 11:14 PM, Feb 12, 2013
and last updated 2013-02-12 23:14:27-05

CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. (WTVR) – Over the last two days, CBS 6 News has learned about two different incidents involving guns on school property in Chesterfield County.

Both of the incidents, one which occurred inside an elementary school and the other in a high school parking lot, actually happened last week.

Several parents and students are wondering why it took officials over a week to release information about the incidents.

Phil Rosswog, a concerned parent of a student at Cosby High School student, said he things partents should have been notified sooner.

Michael Marcotte, another parent, said he also wanted to be told.

Similarly, some students said they believe their parents should be alerted when a gun is found on school property.

"I think something should definitely go home," Brandon Grizzard, a junior at Cosby, said. "If someone is charged with possession of a gun on school property.  I think it is a big deal, even if it is inoperable."

However, students and parents said Chesterfield County Public Schools never notified them about the arrest last week at the high school.

An 18-year-old student was charged with Possession of a Firearm on School Property and Possession of a Weapon on School Property after both a handgun and knife were discovered in his car.

"I am surprised because I feel like Cosby, normally you do hear about things so, I am a little shocked," Kathy Taylor, another concerned parent, said.

Phil Rosswog, another parent with a student at the school, said he wants to know regardless of whether or not it is "a play gun or a real gun." He also said parents have a right to know.

Additionally, some students said it was obvious something had happened at the school.

"I know they got a little bit more stricter on the announcements saying you know, get your stuff out of your car," said Sophomore Sam Taylor.

An email was sent to parents on Monday, but it did not include information about the arrest.

"Have your children, get all the stuff that shouldn't be on school property, out of their cars before they come in the morning and to really look in their cars before they put it on school property," Kyle Gallagher, a junior at the school, said.

In addition, last week, 33-year-old Michael O'Berry was arrested for openly carrying a gun inside Davis Elementary School while conducting business in the school office.

CBS 6 News questioned Chesterfield County Public Schools about their policy of when they notify parents about a gun being spotted or found on school property.

Their reply only stated that they wanted parents and students to check their cars carefully before driving to school.

However, the statement contained no information about policies regarding notifying parents.