Osceola Elementary School in North Naples. Credit: WINK News.

Parents don’t know how child brought gun to school, say he was bullied

Investigators say a fourth grader took his parent’s gun into school, and it wasn’t the first time.

The parents of an 11-year-old boy who went into Osceola Elementary School in North Naples with a gun and threatened to shoot his classmates say their son wanted protection.

We spoke to the child’s parents Wednesday about how he was able to get the gun out of the house.

The parents told us their child must have found the key to his father’s safe and snuck the gun out without anyone knowing.

Kids who ride the bus with the boy told deputies the fourth grader not only brought the gun to school yesterday, but on two different days last week.

Parents are thankful the student was stopped.

During a phone call, WINK News asked the boy’s parents about his access to the weapon. The father said he was unsure, since he says the gun was in a safe in his bedroom. He explained he has a number of other guns that are also locked in safes.

The father did not make excuses for his child and said there was no sensible reason for him to take the gun to school.

The father says his child was being bullied at school. When his wife brought it up to the school, he says the school dismissed it.

The David Lawrence Center in Collier County focuses on mental health.

“Some of those services include assessment, which could be clinical assessment or physiocratic evaluation,” said Karen Buckner with the center. “We also offer individual and family therapy, case management services, crisis support.”

Kids under Baker Act provisions are supervised 24 hours a day until they pass an evaluation.

”We want to understand the event that led up to any particular situation, including the family’s perspective, the child’s perspective, scanning information from the school,” Buckner said.

Collier County Public Schools told us they have a group made up of mental health professionals stationed at every school in the county, including Osceola Elementary.

“Prior to [the Parkland shooting], Collier County schools pioneered a mental health work group, compromised now of more than 40 organizations,” said Chad Oliver, the CCPS communications executive director.

CCPS wouldn’t elaborate about whether it knew the fourth grader was bullied “due to privacy laws,” but we were told the school acts promptly on all reported concerns.

Reporter:Gina Tomlinson
Writer:Jack Lowenstein
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