Winston-Salem, NC – A teacher was arrested on Monday because of allegations that she stored a student’s gun in her classroom and then returned it to the juvenile afterwards.
The school resource officer (SRO) began investigating on May 8 after a video appeared on social media that showed a student with a gun at Paisley Magnet School a day earlier, the Winston-Salem Journal reported.
The SRO confirmed that the video existed and then identified the juvenile student featured in the footage.
On May 10, officers recovered the handgun in the video, but by then it was in the possession of yet another juvenile, according to the Winston-Salem Journal.
Interestingly, their continued investigation led back to a Language Arts teacher at Paisley Magnet School.
Police said that a student brought a Raven .25-caliber handgun to school during the week of April 22 and gave it to a teacher, 25-year-old Sara Melissa Wilson, to hold, the Winston-Salem Journal reported.
The warrant for Wilson’s arrest said the teacher “allowed the firearm to be stored in the classroom.”
Police said Wilson then allowed the juvenile student “to retrieve the handgun near the conclusion of the school day,” according to the Winston-Salem Journal.
Court records said that the student brought the gun back to school in May and that the semi-automatic pistol wound up in the hands of at least two more juveniles.
Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools Spokesman Brent Campbell said the school administrators learned about the April incident from police.
“We had no knowledge of that prior to their investigation late last week,” Campbell said.
Interim Superintendent Kenneth Simington released a statement addressing Wilson’s arrest and suspension on Tuesday. He said the teacher had been suspended without pay.
“At Paisley, last week our team was alerted that a student may have seen a weapon on campus,” Simington said. “Administrators worked to help police to begin conducting interviews to determine if indeed a weapon had earlier been at school.
“By early Friday, investigators communicated to us there was evidence that a weapon had been on campus and as soon as we had those facts, we alerted parents to the investigation,” Simington said.
He said state personnel laws limited what he could say about Wilson’s pending charges.
Police said authorities are also pursuing charges against the two students who had been in possession of the gun, the Winston-Salem Journal reported.
Wilson was arrested for “aiding a juvenile student to possess” a handgun.
She was released on her own recognizance until her hearing in Forsyth County Court on May 30, the Winston-Salem Journal reported.