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Student charged after gun found at Cedar Rapids middle school amid national school safety concerns

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Cedar Rapids Police Badge with Lockers

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KWWL) -- One student was arrested after a loaded gun was found in McKinley Middle School in Cedar Rapids on Friday, as schools nationwide heighten security due to social media threats.

Cedar Rapids Police say that a student alerted school officials that another student had brought a gun to school. School officials then found a loaded, small-caliber handgun in the student's locker. When officers arrived, two students were detained and brought to the police department.

This information led school officials to discover a loaded, small-caliber handgun in a student’s locker. Officers arrived on scene where school personnel had two students detained. The students were transported to the Cedar Rapids Police Department and after being interviewed, one student was charged with Carrying a Firearm on School Grounds.

McKinley families were sent this email on Friday:

Dear McKinley Families,

Good afternoon. This is Principal Jason Martinez with a message for all McKinley families. I want to make you aware of an incident that occured at our school today which called for us to implement our security procedures. We quickly assessed the situation and determined there was cause for concern with two students. Administration and CRPD acted swiftly and located and secured a firearm on the school premises.

I'd like to assure you that safety, security, and maintaining an orderly environment is our top priority. When an incident occurs which may compromise our safe environment for all staff, students, and visitors in the building, we immediately implement any necessary security procedures. If you have questions, please call me at 319-558-3002 or email jmartinez@crschools.us. Thank you.

This comes as social media threats to schools on Friday have been made on TikTok across the country, prompting responses from districts and police departments. 

Cedar Rapids Police said on Thursday that the department was aware of the circulating threats and that they were in contact with schools to enhance safety measures on Friday.

In Dubuque on Friday, a 12-year-old student was arrested after posting a message on social media threatening to bring a weapon to Washington Middle School. No weapon was found on school property, but police confirm that the post was connected to the nationwide threats to schools. 

Hear more on the local and national school safety concerns reported on Friday tonight on KWWL News at 5, 6, and 10. 

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