LAKELAND, Fla. -- A 17-year-old high school student has been arrested for bringing a loaded handgun to George Jenkins High School in Lakeland.
Acting on a tip, a school resource deputy went to the boy's classroom and found the 9 mm firearm and an extra loaded magazine during a search of the teen's backpack, according to the Polk County Sheriff's Office.
The boy, who 10News is not identifying because he is a minor, allegedly told authorities he recently found the gun off campus.
"We have an absolute zero tolerance for weapons of any kind at school," Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd said. "I thank the tipster who alerted the school to the gun and commend the school personnel and our deputy for acting quickly and decisively."
The student was charged with possession of a firearm on campus, possessing a firearm with an altered serial number, possession of a firearm by a juvenile and disruption of a school function.
The teen was taken to the Juvenile Assessment Center.
According to investigators, his prior criminal history includes two burglaries, as well as grand and petit theft.
Polk County Public Schools Superintendent Jacqueline M. Byrd released the following statement:
"The safety of our students and staff is always paramount. In this incident, our students did exactly as we instruct them to do they saw something and they said something. Then, our staff immediately followed procedures and contacted law enforcement. Our partners at the Polk County Sheriff's Office responded swiftly and thoroughly, which allowed us to resume normal operations as quickly as possible and with the assurance, we were doing so in a safe learning environment. I commend our students, staff members and law enforcement partners for working together to keep our schools safe."
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