A juvenile was found with a loaded gun at a Boston school at the end of the school day on Thursday.
Boston police said they recovered a loaded firearm from a 7-year-old student attending the Up Academy Holland school off Olney Street.
Police received a report of a student with a gun at the school around 3:30 p.m. and discovered the student with the loaded gun.
Detectives with the Boston Police school unit were investigating this incident.
“I’m speechless. I don’t have the words. This is truly devastating,” Boston Public Schools Superintendent Mary Skipper said. “We have to ask ourselves how a very young student becomes in possession of and gains access to a firearm.”
“We’re grateful to BPD and first responders who were on the scene immediately,” Skipper said. “We cannot do this work alone. When a young person gets access to a gun out of accessibility, we really have to ask ourselves, how does this happen?”
Some parents reacted with anger and disbelief.
“It’s crazy. It’s nerve-wracking,” Javier Rosario said.
“You leave your child every morning and think they are safe,” Ana Felicier said.
Boston Mayor Michelle Wu said the person responsible for allowing access to the weapon is going to be held accountable.
“My son is 7 years old,” Wu said. “A child does not just get a gun.”
The discovery came on the same day Boston City Hall officials held a hearing on public safety in schools.
The city councilors held the hearing in part out of concerns that crimes at school were not getting reported to the police.
As the hearing was held earlier in the day, a student was found with a bullet at Richard J. Murphy School in Dorchester.
“I feel like this generation, they feel like they’re living in Grand Theft Auto,” said Naomi Hastings.
Hastings is a mom that had pulled her daughter out of the Boston Public School system. She wants more police in schools.
“We’re two months in. There’s been shootings, stabbings, staff assaulted,” Hastings said. “There’s no respect anymore for authority.”
This month, police said a teen shot another outside Burke High School in Dorchester. Weeks earlier, a teen was stabbed by another inside that same school.
In May, two teens were arrested for bringing loaded guns to school in Charlestown. This week alone, more incidents occurred near schools.
“We had four different situations where our schools were placed in safe mode because of threats in the surrounding community,” said Skipper.
During the 2018-2019 school year, there were 243 bullying incidents in the BPS. In 2021-2022, the numbers jumped to 440. There has also been an increase in sexual assault numbers, from 430 in the 2018-2019 school year to 744 this past year.
“It’s great that they’re not hiding the numbers, but in the past, they weren’t even trying to report them,” City Councilor Erin Murphy said.
BPS said the increase in the numbers is a result of a new and improved reporting system, according to the city councilors.
The superintendent said she is working on a solution for students, but schools can’t do it alone.
“They’ve had an incredibly difficult year,” Skipper said. “Is there a plan? We’re working on the plan. But we can’t work in isolation.”